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Gonchar comeback has ways to go

Defenseman Sergei Gonchar took to the Mellon Arena ice with strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar prior to Friday's practice, but it was not an event that inspired reaction from coach Michel Therrien.

"We're not talking about a week or two," Therrien said of Gonchar's eventual return to the lineup. "We're talking about a month-plus."

Gonchar had surgery Oct. 2 to correct a left shoulder dislocation and remains on injured reserve.

• Forwards Tyler Kennedy and Eric Godard practiced with their teammates yesterday. Kennedy (knee) has been out since Dec. 3. Godard (undisclosed injury) has missed three consecutive games.

"It's going to be a game-time decision," Therrien said, when asked if one or both might play today against Florida. "They looked good on the ice."

• The Penguins spent a portion of practice with Sidney Crosby centering Pascal Dupuis and Petr Sykora, with Evgeni Malkin between Ruslan Fedotenko and Miroslav Satan, with Jordan Staal sandwiched by Matt Cooke and Kennedy, and with Dustin Jeffrey or Max Talbot centering a line with Tim Wallace and Godard.

Digits

1 — Point separating the seventh-place Penguins from the ninth-place Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference as of Friday.

20 — Points separating the seventh-place Penguins from the first-place Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference as of Friday.

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