Gonchar marks 800th game
By Karen Price
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar played in his 800th career NHL game on Wednesday against the Chicago Blackhawks.
"I never thought I would play in that many (games)," Gonchar said. "It goes by quick, then you realize you've been around that long. Seems like yesterday you just started playing and all of a sudden it's 800 games."
Gonchar went into last night's game with nine goals and 37 assists for 46 points and on pace for a career-high 69 points on the season. His 46 points were tied with Montreal's Sheldon Souray for second-highest in the league among defensemen, and trailed leader Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings by only four points.
? Coach Michel Therrien said that he started goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury against the Blackhawks in part because if he started Jocelyn Thibault against his former team, the layoff would have been too long for Fleury.
Fleury played in the Penguins' last game on Saturday, and their next game isn't until Friday at the New Jersey Devils.
They play back-to-back games this weekend, hosting the Washington Capitals on Sunday and traveling to the New York Islanders on Monday and Therrien indicated that Thibault would play at least one of those games.
? Of the 12 remaining Penguins home games in the regular season, only four have more than 1,000 tickets remaining: March 13 vs. the Buffalo Sabres, March 18 vs. the Ottawa Senators, March 25 vs. the Boston Bruins and April 3 vs. the Sabres.
Last night's game was a sellout, the 11th out of the last 13 home games and the 18th this season, and despite the inclement weather the actual attendance was close to capacity.
? C Chris Thorburn was a healthy scratch for last night's game. D Alain Nasreddine was scratched after his wife gave birth to the couple's first child, a boy, yesterday morning.