= Cs MAX TALBOT and EVGENI MALKIN each practiced this morning at Nationwide Arena, where the Penguins will play the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight. Malkin, nursing a sore knee, will be a game-time decision. Talbot, with a bruised left foot, is expected to play.
Malkin didn’t practice Friday, and Talbot left that session early after his inner left skate boot was hit by a shot from LW MATT COOKE. “You think the worse and you don’t know until you get the result of the X-rays,” said Talbot, who didn’t appear to be bothered by the injury. He also said he will start wearing protective plastic skate covers for all practices. He has just been wearing those for games and game-day practices. Talbot said the protective cover would have prevented this injury.
Malkin, whose injury was re-aggravated Thursday in a home win against Atlanta, doesn’t speak with the media before games. However, coach DAN BYLSMA told an FSN Pittsburgh broadcaster that he was not completely comfortable saying Malkin would play in this game.
The Penguins (17-8-2, 36 points) are seeking a ninth consecutive win.
= A large contingent of Penguins fans are expetecd to attend the game tonight. They started filling bars and restaurants around 1 p.m. The Blue Jackets have played before three home crowds of fewer than 10,000 fans, but this game could be a sellout.