Penguins’ Gonchar returns to practice, hopes to play in series opener

CANONSBURG, Pa. – Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Sergei Gonchar has returned to practice and hopes to play in the Eastern Conference finals opener Monday.

Gonchar sat out Games 5 and 6 of the conference semifinals against Washington after injuring his right knee while being hit by Alex Ovechkin in Game 4. He unexpectedly returned for Game 7 on Wednesday, but his playing time was reduced, and he had not skated until practising Sunday.

READ ALSO:  Top five trade destinations for Matt Duchene

“It looks promising,” said Gonchar, who missed three-quarters of the regular season due to a shoulder injury.

The Penguins recalled forwards Dustin Jeffrey, Chris Minard and Jeff Taffe, defenceman Ben Lovejoy, and goalie John Curry from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL.