Penguins' Gonchar Back on Ice, Skating in Practice

Chris MillerCorrespondent IMay 12, 2009

PITTSBURGH - MAY 08:  Defenseman Sergei Gonchar #55 of the Pittsburgh Penguins is attended to by a trainer after he was injured in a collision with Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinal Round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Mellon Arena on May 8, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Ovechkin was given a two-minute minor penalty for tripping.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

The Pittsburgh Penguins have scored 11 goals the last three games of their second round series with the Washington Capitals.

Most of them without Sergei Gonchar.

Gonchar, injured by a vicious knee-on-knee collision with Alexander Ovechkin, has missed the last two games of the series with a knee injury not as serious as initially thought.

Today, Gonchar was back on the ice, participating in light skating drills, hoping to be healthy enough for a Game Seven return.

Gonchar's return would be a welcome addition for a team playing in their most crucial game since last year's Game Six loss against the Detroit Red Wings.

Coach Dan Bylsma has yet to rule Gonchar out.

Pittsburgh has scored three power-play goals in seven chances with Gonchar out of the lineup in Game Five and Six.  With their power-play clicking at the right time, adding their leader to their potent combination of skill during the man-advantage could prove lethal for Washington to contain.

While it may seem unlikely Gonchar will dress for Game Seven, Pittsburgh is hoping that isn't the case.  With Gonchar back on the ice a day before Wednesday's crucial game, Washington might want to plan on Gonchar potentially manning the blue line.