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NHL notes: Crosby's return on ice

Referee Ian Walsh tries to help Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby who was hit in the face with a...

Referee Ian Walsh tries to help Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby who was hit in the face with a puck in the first period of their NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, March 30, 2013. (REUTERS)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:33 PM ET

The Pittsburgh Penguins will be captain-less as they wind down their regular season.

Pens coach Dan Bylsma told NHL.com Saturday that there isn’t a timetable for when Sidney Crosby will begin skating again.

Crosby took a puck to the face during a March 30 game against the New York Islanders.

The Penguins have six games left in the season, and have already clinched the Atlantic Division.

They have their sights set on the Eastern Conference title, but the Pens will have to do so without defenceman Paul Martin and winger James Neal as well.

WEBER ‘CAN’T BABYSIT EVERY GUY’

The Nashville Predators are trying to reorient themselves after losing their fifth straight game and any chance of playoff spot Friday.

The Preds lost 5-2 on home ice to the Dallas Stars, and when the question of whether players were giving up was posed to captain Shea Weber, he balked.

“Everyone has got to take care of themselves,” he told the Tennessean. “I can’t go around and babysit every guy. It’s a personal thing, and like I said, the other game, you have to look yourself in the mirror and say you’re playing your hardest and you’re giving everything you can to help the team win.”

The Predators have six games left on their schedule and are currently seven points out of the final playoff spot.

BLACKHAWKS CLINCH CENTRAL DIVISION

The Chicago Blackhawks clinched their 15th divisional title in franchise history Friday night with their 3-2 shootout win over the Detroit Red Wings.

The win also signified a series sweep of their division rivals.

“It means a lot,” goaltender Corey Crawford told the Chicago Tribune. “We want to capture first place (in the conference). It has been game-by-game the whole year and we’re not going to change it now.”

The last time the Chicago Blackhawks won a division title was during the 2009-10 season, when they went on to win the Stanley Cup.

BABCOCK: ‘THIS IS WHAT WE EARNED’

After the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks Friday, head coach Mike Babcock had a moment to reflect on his team’s struggles to hold down a playoff spot.

Currently sitting in eighth in the Western Conference, the Wings are only two points ahead of the Dallas Stars, Phoenix Coyotes and Columbus Blue Jackets.

The last time the Wings didn’t make the playoffs was 1990.

“To me, strange is living in the past,” Babcock told MLive.com. “You are what you are. This is what we earned this year. This is what our team is. We’re no better or no worse than we are. We’re just a team battling to get in the playoffs.

“Win a game, that’s all. To me, we take the same approach we have every year: Try to win games and get better.”

BRUINS SIGN SODERBERG

After a reported holdup by the Swedish Federation Thursday, the Boston Bruins have officially signed prospect Carl Soderberg.

CSNNE.com reported that the team signed Soderberg Saturday and he’s expected to join the team Wednesday when the Bruins host the Buffalo Sabres.

The 27-year-old centre signed a three-year, one-way deal that will hit Boston up for $1 million on their annual salary cap.

The cause for concern from the Swedish Federation was Soderberg’s availability for the 2013 IIHF World Championship tournament. But the issue has since been resolved.

Soderberg had 60 points in 54 games with Linkoping of the Swedish Elite League this season before leaving for the NHL.


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