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Talbot’s left foot only bruised.

= 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.

Cheers,

Rossi

Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi has covered the Penguins for parts of every season that Sidney Crosby has played in Pittsburgh. So, since 2005. He has led the Trib's NHL coverage since 2007, when he became the primary Penguins beat reporter. He joined the Tribune-Review in November 2002. Rossi, 35, is local chapter president of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. He also dabbles in radio, as ClearChannel's "Penguins Insider," and TV, as "NHL Insider" for Root Sports Pittsburgh, and as a semi-regular contributor to The Final Word, a Sunday sports show that airs on WPXI. In 2012, Rossi was recognized nationally by Penn State's John Curley Center for Sports Journalism for his coverage of youth sports for a Trib series that investigated concussion protocol. In 2013, he teamed with Carl Prine for an investigative piece about athletes' charities what was honored regionally. A graduate of West Virginia University and Keystone Oaks High School, Rossi was raised in Crafton and Green Tree and currently resides in Brookline. He is currently working on the authorized biography of Evgeni Malkin. Follow him on Twitter: @RobRossi_Trib

Comments

  1. Onetimer says:

    Your mention of the potential sell out in Ohio due to the pens draw comes on the heels of some interesting FORBES articles out last week.

    Forbes worked with a survey group to sample a fairly substantial number of folks in the USA re: Hockey. The poll results really highlight the Pens role (and Sid’s in particular) in the rise of hockey popularity..

    first..there was finding that 22.2% polled said they were fans of the National Hockey League. That is an extremely impressive figure when you consider a similar poll conducted by BIGresearch a few weeks ago found that 26.8% of those surveyed were NBA fans

    The five favorite teams are the Detroit Red Wings (11.4%), Chicago Blackhawks (9.2%), Pittsburgh Penguins (8.0%), Boston Bruins (7.9%) and Philadelphia Flyers (7.1%).

    That fact that Penguins are in a small market, but have more fan popularity than some big market teams is remarkable achievement (remember that this is a USA poll…I;m sure a Canadan poll would have have a different mix, but still have the Pens pretty high)

    The five most popular players are Sidney Crosby (8.1%), Alexander Ovechkin (2.2%), Patrick Kane(notes) (2.1%), Jonathan Toews(notes) (1.7%) and Pavel Datsyuk(notes) (1.6%).

    Sid is clearly viewed by a HUGH majority as fan favorite. That Ovechkin and Kane are virtually even in popularity (at almost 6% below Sid) among USA fans is surprising. Many commentators/bloggers would suggest that Ovie is viewed more favorable..but clearly is not the case. It seems opinions of

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