NEW YORK Rangers center Derick Brassard, who was sent home from Edmonton on Sunday with mumps symptoms, has tested positive through blood tests for the virus.

Brassard, the team's second-leading scorer with 24 points, is expected to be isolated from the team as long as the symptoms exist. Earlier this season, teammate Tanner Glass missed four games with the mumps.

Players received booster immunizations after Glass became ill Nov. 28. He was isolated for 5 days and has recovered.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby returned from his bout with mumps, while several teammates were tested for the virus as a precaution.

Crosby worked out yesterday for the first time after missing three games over the weekend. He could return to the lineup as early as tonight when the Penguins face Colorado.

General manager Jim Rutherford said Crosby is "doing well," and he'll let Crosby and coach Mike Johnston decide the timetable for a possible return.

The Penguins held goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and defensemen Olli Maatta and Robert Bortuzzo out of practice yesterday while they get tested for mumps. All three players tested negative for mumps earlier this month.

"We're being cautious," Rutherford said. "All three of those players are in isolation. Any time that anybody even starts to not feel well, even if it's not mumps-like symptoms, we've gotten the person or player out of here as soon as we can."

At least five NHL teams have been affected by the virus, which is spread through infected saliva and causes facial swelling and fatigue. There's no specific treatment for the mumps, which must run its course. Most children and adults recover within about 2 weeks.

Pittsburgh forward Beau Bennett was diagnosed with mumps on Tuesday. Rutherford said the team is taking extra measures to sanitize Consol Energy Center.

The club is recommending employees and members of the support staff receive booster shots.


* Calgary coach Bob Hartley agreed to a multiyear contract extension with the club, which has a six-game losing streak but is 17-14-2.

* The NHL fined Nashville forward James Neal $2,000 for violating the league's revised rule against diving and embellishing. Neal was issued a warning after an infraction Nov. 13. No penalty was called then. His second violation at San Jose on Saturday led to the fine. Neal received a penalty for embellishment on that play. Third and fourth violations carry fines of $3,000 and $4,000 fines, respectively. A fifth violation yields a maximum $5,000 fine for a player and $2,000 for the head coach.

In games last night

* At Newark, N.J., Craig Anderson made 34 saves, and Kyle Turris scored two goals as the Ottawa Senators beat the New Jersey Devils, 2-0. It was Anderson's third shutout of the season and 29th in his NHL career. The Devils have lost their last five games.

* At St. Paul, Minn., Loui Eriksson's overtime goal gave the Boston Bruins a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild.