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Crosby’s absence will allow Bylsma to continue to tinker with Pittsburgh’s lines trying to find the right combination. Crosby anchored the most productive line in hockey alongside Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis before getting hurt and the addition of so many new faces has forced Bylsma to get creative.

The only group that appears to be set is the third line, where Brandon Sutter, Matt Cooke and Morrow will give the Penguins some thump. The first, second and fourth lines remain very much a work in progress.

Yet there are worse problems to have. Though Crosby will sit out the regular season finale, barring a setback he’s almost certain to play in the opening round. The Penguins will enter the postseason as the overwhelming favorite in the East. The pressure will only mount whenever Crosby laces up his skates. That’s OK with the Penguins. That’s the way they prefer it.

“I’ve never been in a dressing room that didn’t expect to win a Cup,” Murray said. “I think we know what lays ahead and when Sid’s ready, we’ll be ready to have him.”