Sidney Crosby resumes skating

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Sidney Crosby resumes skating

From Comcast SportsNet
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby skated with his teammates for the first time in more than a month on Friday but still has no idea when he'll be cleared to practice, let alone see action in a game. Crosby skated for 27 minutes at the end of the Penguins morning skate before their game Friday night against the Florida Panthers. It was the first time he's been on the ice since developing concussion-like symptoms following a loss to Boston on Dec. 5. "The symptoms are getting a lot better, but I wouldn't say (I'm) symptom free," Crosby said. "But I'm allowed to lightly exert, and that's a positive." The 24-year-old Crosby suffered similar symptoms last January and missed more than 10 months. The Penguins have struggled without their captain, losing six straight games over the last two weeks to fall into the bottom half of the Eastern Conference. Doctors have cleared Crosby for "light exertion," and he was clearly out of breath when he addressed reporters shortly after leaving the ice. While acknowledging skating is "better than being on a bike" there are restraints on what he can do. Crosby joked with coach Dan Bylsma when he skated onto the ice, with the coach saying it was good to see Crosby with his teammates. Though the injury-ravaged Penguins have looked dismal over the last few weeks, Crosby shot down any discussion that the silence surrounding his condition -- he hadn't spoken to the media in a month -- was causing a rift in the dressing room. "I've been around hockey long enough to know this stuff goes on when you're losing," Crosby said. "I don't think we'd be talking about it if we'd won five straight."

Report: Curry, Harden will be starting backcourt for West in All-Star Game

Report: Curry, Harden will be starting backcourt for West in All-Star Game

After his team defeated the Thunder on Wednesday night, Steph Curry reportedly beat Russell Westbrook again.

Curry will start alongside James Harden in the Western Conference backcourt at next month's All-Star Game, according to the Washington Post's Tim Bontemps.

In last week's All-Star fan voting returns, Curry (990,390 votes) and Harden (961,685 votes) led Westbrook (899,024 votes).

The fan vote counts for 50 percent, while the media and players' votes count for 25 percent each.

Kevin Durant is expected to join Curry in the starting lineup.

The starters will be announced officially at 4pm PT so stay logged on to CSNBayArea.com for updates.

NHL Gameday: Sharks host Lightning in second of back-to-back

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NHL Gameday: Sharks host Lightning in second of back-to-back

Programming note – Sharks-Lightning coverage starts today at 7:00 on CSN California with Sharks Pregame Live

WHERE THEY STAND

Sharks: 27-16-2, 56 points, 3rd Pacific Division
Lightning: 21-20-5, 47 points, 6th Atlantic Division

PREGAME NEWS AND NOTES

***The Sharks didn’t hold a morning skate so there was no immediate update on Logan Couture, who missed the game against the Kings due to illness. Coach Pete DeBoer left open the possibility on Wednesday morning that Couture might be able to go against the Lightning.

No word yet on the goalie, either, after Martin Jones made 22 saves in the Sharks’ 3-2 win at Staples Center. It could make sense to go back to Jones against the Lightning, while leaving the miserable Colorado Avalanche for backup Aaron Dell on Saturday.

***The Lightning are just 2-5-1 in their last eight games, and are in the midst of a six-game road swing. It started with a win over the Kings on Monday, 2-1, and was followed by a 2-1 overtime loss in Anaheim on Tuesday. Tampa Bay has scored two or fewer goals in six of its last seven, but also brings the NHL’s fourth-ranked power play (22.9 percent) into tonight’s contest.

Top defenseman Victor Hedman reportedly remains out tonight with an illness. It will be his third straight game out of the lineup. He leads the league among blueliners with 31 assists, and his 38 points trails only Brent Burns (46).

***San Jose beat the Lightning in the only other game of the season series on Nov. 12 in Tampa Bay, 3-1. The Sharks are 4-3-0 this season in the second of back-to-back games, and 15-6-0 against the Eastern Conference.

Tampa Bay is just 3-8-2 against the Western Conference.

KEEP AN EYE ON...

Sharks: Tommy Wingels. Although he’s found it difficult to stay in the lineup on a nightly basis this season, Wingels has managed to contribute recently, including a goal against the Kings on Wednesday. The 28-year-old fourth liner has one point in three of his last six games, despite being scratched for seven of the last 12 overall. He’s had success against the Lightning, too, with four goals and seven points in eight career games.

Lightning: Jonathan Drouin. The forward saw a five-game point streak come to an end on Jan. 17, but has at least one point in eight of his last 10 games overall. After a misguided decision last season in which he demanded a trade that never happened, Drouin, 21, is third on the Lightning in scoring with 29 points (13g, 16a).

PROBABLE LINES

Sharks
Melker Karlsson – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Kevin Labanc – Patrick Marleau – Mikkel Boedker
Timo Meier – Chris Tierney – Joel Ward
Micheal Haley – Ryan Carpenter – Tommy Wingels

Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko

Martin Jones
Aaron Dell

Lightning
Ondrej Palat – Vlad Namestnikov – Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn – Tyler Johnson – Joel Vermin
Brian Boyle – Valtteri Filppula – Jonathan Drouin
Michael Bournival – Cedric Paquette – Gabriel Dumont

Nikita Nesterov – Anton Stralman
Jason Garrison – Andrej Sustr
Braydon Coburn – Luke Witkowski

Andrei Vasilevskiy (starter)
Ben Bishop

INJURIES

Sharks: Logan Couture (illness) is questionable. Joonas Donskoi (upper body), Dylan DeMelo (broken wrist) and Tomas Hertl (right knee sprain) are on injured reserve.

Lightning: Steven Stamkos (torn meniscus), Brayden Point (upper body), J.T. Brown (upper body), Ryan Callahan (lower body) and Victor Hedman (illness) are out.

QUOTEABLE

“I think we’ve been saying all year our job is to try and be in their end and get a good forecheck. Luckily of late we’ve been getting some points, so that’s good.” – Micheal Haley, on the recent play of the Sharks’ fourth line