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Hockey Christmas: Sidney Crosby returns Monday vs. the New York Islanders

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The Penguins have made it official: for the first time since 1/5/11 Sidney Crosby will play tomorrow night against the New York Islanders. The team made announced it in a simple, one sentence news release:

The Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will return to the team’s lineup on Monday night when the Penguins host the New York Islanders at 7 p.m. at CONSOL Energy Center.

Crosby has endured many ups and downs over the last 11 months while dealing with his recovery from a concussion and two hits tothe head in five days. The rumors have gone crazy, the meaningingful updates have been and far between. But the long road to recovery has come to an end now, and not a moment too soon. The Pens have been very patient and making sure he's ready....And now, apparantely he is, after all this time.

Happy Hockey-Christmas Eve, everyone.