Defenceman Goligoski called up while Gonchar’s injury status uncertain

WASHINGTON – With Sergei Gonchar recovering from a knee-to-knee blow from Alex Ovechkin, the Pittsburgh Penguins called up rookie defenceman Alex Goligoski before Saturday night’s Game 5 against the Washington Capitals.

Coach Dan Bylsma said Gonchar’s injury was not as severe as initially thought, but the coach declined to say whether the veteran defenceman will play again in the post-season.

“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 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.”

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Ovechkin was assessed a minor penalty Friday night for the first-period hit on Gonchar, who spent about a minute on the ice before being assisted to the bench. The Penguins won 5-3 to tie the series at two games apiece.

Goligoski, recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL, had six goals and 14 assists in 44 games with the Penguins in the regular season.