Crosby returns, Forsberg debuts

Being sick sucks.

I spent most of the last three days in bed with the flu before returning to work on Tuesday night, just in time to see Sidney Crosby return and Peter Forsberg make his season debut.

Crosby, who missed 21 games with a high ankle sprain that also cost him an All-Star appearance, assisted on Maxime Talbot's goal with 2:47 to play as the Pittsburgh Penguins blanked the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0.

Crosby played just over 22 minutes, and the reigning Hart and Art Ross Trophy winner didn't look like he missed much time at all.

"It's good to get it over with and get that feel and get that timing back, but it's still not there," Crosby said. "I had some great chances that I would have loved to put in. It didn't happen. Sometimes that's the way it goes. I'm a little rusty."

Forsberg didn't look rusty, either, as the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Vancouver Canucks 2-1. And he was playing in his first NHL game in 10 1/2 months.

"Of course you want to get a goal or an assist, but I’m just happy we won the game," said Forsberg, who has only gone through one practice and one skatearound with the team since signing a one-year deal last week. “That’s all that matters now."

That's four straight wins for the Avs, who will need Forsberg to step in for the injured Marek Svatos and Ryan Smyth. Svatos is out for the season with a knee injury, while Smyth, who already missed time with an ankle injury this season, is out indefintely with a concussion and separated shoulder.


1. Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary Flames: After going 64 games without a shutout, Kiprusoff recorded his second in five games, making 39 saves in a 1-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The win allowed Calgary to move into a tie win the Minnesota Wild atop the Northwest Division.

2. Wade Dubielewicz, New York Islanders: With All-Star Rick DiPietro attending to a family matter, Dubielewicz stopped 27 shots before denying five more tries in the shootout as the Islanders defeated the New York Rangers 4-3.

3. Martin Erat, Nashville Predators: Wrapping up his sixth season, Erat recorded his first NHL hat trick in Nashville's 5-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers. The Predators have won eight in a row over Edmonton since an overtime loss in March 2006.

3a. Craig Anderson, Florida Panthers: Not a bad follow-up. Anderson, who made 53 saves in a 1-0 win over the Islanders on Sunday, stopped 40 shots in a 1-0 win over the Boston Bruins on Tuesday. Since 1989-90, according to the wonderful folks I work for, Dominik Hasek of the Buffalo Sabres had the most saves in back-to-back shutouts with 75.

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