Gill in lineup; Pens dress Ponikarovsky

Updated: May 12, 2010, 7:27 PM ET
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com

PITTSBURGH -- Montreal Canadiens defensemen Hal Gill returned for Game 7 in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Penguins.

Both Gill and fellow defenseman Andrei Markov skated in full gear Wednesday morning, but Markov was still unable to go.

Canadiens coach Jacques Martin previously has described Markov, who suffered a knee injury in Game 1, as out "indefinitely." He offered no more insight Wednesday morning.

"He skated with us this morning but I haven't had a chance to talk. It was really the first time that he skated with us so we'll see," Martin said earlier Wednesday.

Gill skated before Game 6, but remained out of the lineup after suffering a cut on the back of his leg in Game 5. Gill's return gives Martin a plethora of defensemen at his disposal. But there's also the issue of putting in players recovering from injury and being left short-handed if they can't play a full game.

"I don't think that we need eight defensemen. I think if we have healthy bodies we'll dress the lineup that's going to help us win the hockey game," he said after the Habs' morning skate.

Pittsburgh winger Alexei Ponikarovsky returned to the Penguins' lineup after spending the past two games in the press box.

Scott Burnside covers the NHL for ESPN.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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