Penguins Notebook: Injuries give team 'training camp' feel

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Center Sidney Crosby might be the most prominent of the Penguins who are out, but he is hardly alone.

Along with Crosby, the Penguins yesterday placed forward Adam Hall on injured reserve because of a groin injury he sustained Saturday night in Montreal. He missed last night's game against Washington and will miss Thursday's game at Philadelphia before he is eligible to return.

Winger Colby Armstrong, who bruised his hip when he went hard into the boards Saturday night, participated in the morning skate yesterday but was scratched from the lineup for last night's game.

Forward Tyler Kennedy skated in the morning, too, but missed his second consecutive game because of illness.

Those players join goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (high ankle sprain), winger Gary Roberts (broken leg) and defenseman Mark Eaton (knee surgery) on the team's training room roster.

The Penguins on Sunday promoted three forwards from their Wilkes-Barre/Scranton minor-league team -- Jonathan Filewich, Christopher Minard and Tim Brent. All three took the morning skate and played last night, with another recent call-up, Ryan Stone, being scratched.

"It felt like training camp," coach Michel Therrien said of the morning skate. "But we've lost a lot of guys. We've got no choice but to call up players."

Translator wanted

There is little question that with Crosby out, Evgeni Malkin's role has become magnified for the Penguins.

Therrien wanted to make sure Malkin understands what that means -- in English and Russian.

"I had a good meeting with him [before the Montreal game]," Therrien said. "I had [defenseman and fellow Russian] Sergei Gonchar there because I wanted to make sure [Malkin] really understood what I was trying to say to him because a lot of times he just says, 'Yeah, yeah,' and I'm not quite sure he understands.

"I want him to take responsibility because he's our best forward, but I don't want him to think that he's got to do it by himself."

Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau doubted anything got lost in translation.

"He's a bull," Boudreau said of Malkin. "When he wants to play, he's tough to stop. Now the spotlight is on him. He's either going to take it and run with it or he's not going to be able to handle it. I believe everybody wants the spotlight on them to show how great they can be, and I think he'll step his game up even more than it is."

Ovechkin's vote is in

Washington winger Alex Ovechkin, who was taken first overall in the 2004 draft, one spot ahead of Malkin, would like to see Malkin replace Crosby at the All-Star Game Sunday in Atlanta.

"I think he deserves it," Ovechkin said.

The NHL could name a replacement as soon as today, if Crosby is officially ruled out of the weekend of activities.

Ready for prime time?

In hindsight, Dany Sabourin said, he wasn't ready to step in as a No. 1 goaltender when Fleury got hurt in early December. That's because in his career he had always been a backup.

Sabourin went 3-4 before he yielded to Ty Conklin, who played 11 games in a row. Sabourin returned Saturday and shut out Montreal, 3-0.

"I had a really good chance to see what I did wrong. I got to prepare myself mentally off the ice and work on some stuff on the ice. That's what I did the last month," Sabourin said.

"I learned from the experience what it is to be a No. 1. I didn't know [before]. It's two different roles, especially off the ice and with the media and everything. The roles are totally different."

And the Oscar goes to ...

The Capitals' Boudreau was playing in Johnstown when the hockey movie "Slap Shot" was filmed and made an appearance.

"Briefly," he said.

Boudreau contributed in another way. Filmmakers were looking for a residence that was, well, lived in to serve as the home of Paul Newman's character, coach Reggie Dunlop.

"That was my apartment," Boudreau said.


Shelly Anderson can be reached at shanderson@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1721.


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