Head coach Dan Bylsma updated the media on defenseman Sergei Gonchar's status following his knee-to-knee collision with Alex Ovechkin last night. The report was more optimistic than originally thought and Gonchar has not been ruled out for tonight's Game 5 contest in Washington.
"We evaluated him and continue to evaluate him," Bylsma said. "It's more or less how he's going to respond. The swelling has not been significant but it's going to be day-to-day, game-time (decision) for Sergei. He's not doing as bad as we thought and it will be game-time as far as our decisions with our lineup."
If Gonchar plays, Bylsma said he would consider dressing seven defensemen in the contest as an insurance policy. The Penguins also recalled blueliner Alex Goligoski from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
It was a painful night of travel for the Penguins following their impressive 5-3 Game 4 victory at Mellon Arena over the Capitals. The team didn't have much time to celebrate the win as they left as soon as they could following the game to catch a flight to Washington.
Just to make things a little more difficult, the team had to drive on alternate routes due to highway construction. Some of the players even got lost, but they all managed to make it to the plane in a timely fashion.
The plane took off at 11:30 p.m. and landed shortly after midnight in D.C. The team took a bus to the hotel and checked in around 1 a.m. before heading to their rooms for some much deserved rest (although a few guys did get some sleep on the plane and bus).
The Penguins did not hold a morning skate but will be available to the media today at noon, including head coach Dan Bylsma - who will likely update us on the Game 5 status of defenseman Sergei Gonchar. As soon as I get word from Bylsma I will post the latest update.
Author: Sam Kasan