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Friday Practice Report: Gonchar limited, won’t play @ Tampa Bay
Southpointe _ After having an off-day on Thursday, the Pittsburgh Penguins got back to work this morning going through a 65 minute skate at the Iceoplex complex. In the midst of a four game road trip, the Penguins will have a weekend set of back-to-back games against the Tampa Bay Lightning (15-15-10) and Florida Panthers (16-18-7).
*Defenseman Sergei Gonchar was limited in practice with what appears to be a lower leg injury. He was not skating well and left the ice after about 30 minutes. Gonchar took a shot off of his left foot near the end of Wednesday’s game.
Gonchar’s status for tomorrow afternoon’s game is in doubt I’m told, although Gonchar will travel with the team to the Sunshine state.
*Brooks Orpik knows his fate for Team USA as GM Brian Burke informed players who made the team this morning but as expected, Orpik would not indicate that he knows either way after practice today. Team USA will officially announce their roster later this afternoon and Orpik will be named to the squad.
*Dan Bylsma has not ruled out playing Marc Andre Fleury in both games this weekend, however, with 3 games in four days, Johnson will likely start on Sunday.
Fleury will get the start on Saturday against Tampa Bay.
*Expect more line changes on Evgeni Malkin’s line but Bill Guerin will remain on Malkin’s right wing for the time being.