Crosby had an assist and three shots on goal in 19:10 of ice time, but the Penguins lost 4-2. Game 6 is Monday in Pittsburgh. The Penguins lead the series 3-2.
Crosby has a history of concussions and missed the first six games this season. On Monday night, he took a cross-check to the head from Washington's Matt Niskanen in Game 3 in Pittsburgh and missed Game 4 on Wednesday. He skated in full gear on Thursday and took part in a full-contact practice on Friday, taking rushes with usual linemates Jake Guentzel and Patric Hornqvist.
"He's a competitor,'' defenseman Brian Dumoulin said. "He wants to be out there. It's good that he was cleared and able to play. We wanted a win and to get this win, but it's definitely good to have him back.''
Earlier Saturday, Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said Crosby had a few good days but that the team's 3-1 cushion would not impact how the team handled its star.
"We trust our doctors and the process that they go through, and when they tell us that these guys are healthy and are cleared to play, then that's all we need to know,'' Sullivan said after an optional morning skate.
Winger Conor Sheary also passed his baseline concussion test and returned to the ice Saturday night. He logged 14:03 in ice time.
The NHL's concussion protocol does not stipulate a certain amount of days a player must sit out after being diagnosed.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.