Gibbons’ return could boost Penguins

Apr 19, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Brian Gibbons (49 left) celebrates his second goal of the game with center Brandon Sutter (16) against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the first period in game two of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Charles LeClaire/Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Pittsburgh Penguins could get a boost Wednesday night if speedy winger Brian Gibbons can return to the lineup for Game Four of the Penguins series vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Penguins had Gibbons on the ice for an optional skate on Tuesday afternoon at Nationwide Arena. He missed Game Three and played just 2:26 in Game Two — but scored two early goals — after suffering a still undisclosed injury. The Penguins went flat and lost Game Two after his exit and would welcome him back.

"There’s no timetable right now," Gibbons said. "It was just good to get out there and skate."

The Penguins lead the series, 2-1, after rallying to win Game Three on Monday night. All three games have been won, 4-3, by the team that was once trailing 3-1.

HEATING UP THE ICE

An undrafted free agent success story, Gibbons has played alongside Sidney Crosby on the Penguins top line in recent weeks.

"When he gets healthy, we’ll try to find a spot for him in (the lineup)," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said.

Bylsma has offered no other details about Gibbons injury. It’s that time of the year — and a potential Gibbons return could be a big boost to the Penguins both Wednesday night and moving forward.

"Obviously you don’t want to ever have to come out of a game," Gibbons said. "It was an exciting start. It’s the playoffs…a a game I’ve waited for. I hated having to leave."

Jayson Menga made his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut in place of Gibbons in Game Three.