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Gonchar heading back to Penguins' lineup

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Josh Yohe
Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010
 

It appears likely that defenseman Sergei Gonchar will play tonight when the Philadelphia Flyers visit Mellon Arena. Gonchar took part in practice and looked fine.

The availability of Ruslan Fedotenko and Max Talbot could be in question after they missed practice Wednesday. Coach Dan Bylsma said both players were undergoing "maintenance days," which sometimes simply means a day of rest but also could indicate an injury.

Fedotenko crashed into the Atlanta net late in Tuesday's 5-2 victory. After the game, he seemed OK.

"I got hurt when I fell into the net," he said. "But it's no big deal. I'm fine."

Talbot was believed to be a healthy scratch Tuesday. He has only one goal in 20 games since returning from shoulder surgery.

» The Canadians and Americans were split in the Penguins locker room Tuesday night while watching the final minutes of the World Junior Hockey Championship. The United States won the game, 6-5, in overtime.

Americans such as Bylsma, GM Ray Shero and Mike Rupp sat on one side of the room while a host of Canadian players, including Sidney Crosby and Marc-Andre Fleury, sat on the other side. Did the Americans taunt the Canadians following the victory?

"No," Crosby said. "They actually have been pretty quiet about it."

» Bylsma was pleased with Luca Caputi's performance in his first game with the Penguins this season. He scored a goal while skating on Evgeni Malkin's line and will play on that unit again tonight against the Flyers.

DIGITS

13 — Unsuccessful Penguins power plays before Ruslan Fedotenko's goal Tuesday against the Thrashers.

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