The Penguins announced Wednesday afternoon that veteran blueliner Sergei Gonchar will miss the next six weeks with a broken wrist. The injury will not require surgery.
Gonchar was injured towards the latter end of the second period of Tuesday’s 5-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues when he landed awkwardly following a collision with a Blues' player.
Losing Gonchar will be a significant blow to the Penguins’ offense as the Russian defenseman ranks tied for second among all NHL defensemen with eight points (2G-6A) through Tuesday night’s contests. Gonchar also plays significant minutes for the Penguins, leading the team in ice time at 24:06.
Gonchar missed the team's first 56 games last year after dislocating his left shoulder on a check by then-Tampa Bay Lightning left winger David Koci in the preseason. Upon Gonchar's return, the team went 17-4-4 en route to winning the Stanley Cup.
With Gonchar out veteran defenseman Martin Skoula, 29, will take his place in the lineup and make his Penguin debut on Friday night when the Florida Panthers visit Mellon Arena for a 7:30 p.m. face off. Skoula was signed by the Penguins as a free agent by the Penguins on Sept. 29.