Penguins Notebook: Talbot to miss at least 3 games
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The Penguins will be without center Maxime Talbot, one of their most reliable and productive forwards through the first quarter of the season, for at least three games because of a high ankle sprain.
"He was playing well for us," coach Michel Therrien said. "He brings a lot of energy to the team. He's a little warrior. ... For sure, we're going to miss him."
Talbot was injured in the Penguins' 3-2 loss Nov. 3 on Long Island, after teammate Jordan Staal fell on his leg.
Talbot finished that game and appeared in seven more but decided to take some time off after he "tweaked" the injury in practice Monday.
"I played on it for two weeks [by] taping it, but it just kept getting weaker," he said.
Talbot has targeted the Penguins' home game Nov. 30 against Dallas for his return but is aware of the perils of trying to return too quickly.
His best friend, New York Islanders defenseman Bruno Gervais, had a similar injury last season.
He let it heal for about two weeks but reinjured it in his first game back and then was out for an extended period.
"Hopefully, I can be back for [the Stars' game]," Talbot said. "But we'll see how it goes."
Therrien was noncommittal about whether Colby Armstrong or Mark Recchi will play right wing on the No. 2 line with Erik Christensen and Evgeni Malkin tonight, and his decision will affect more than the makeup of that particular unit.
If Recchi gets the call, it likely means Sidney Crosby will assume a spot on one of the top two penalty-killing pairings, presumably alongside Ryan Malone.
The Penguins have six forwards in their penalty-killing mix, but Talbot is injured, and if Armstrong sits for the seventh time in the past nine games, Crosby will be bumped to one of the top four jobs.
That doesn't necessarily mean he'll become a permanent part of the mix.
"It has to be the right timing for him," Therrien said. "He's learning a lot about killing penalties. Eventually, he'll become a guy [who's a fixture in the primary rotation]."
A big mountain to climb
Martin Brodeur of New Jersey became the second goalie in NHL history to record 500 regular-season victories when the Devils beat Philadelphia, 6-2, Saturday.
To put that feat in perspective, consider this: Marc-Andre Fleury of the Penguins could reach that milestone by appearing in the 62 games that remain in this season -- and every game that follows for the next 41/2 seasons or so.
And winning them all.
"That's a lot of wins," Fleury said. "It's crazy. I was happy last year, when I had 40."
Patrick Roy, who retired with 551 victories, is the only goalie ahead of Brodeur on the all-time list.
All-Star voting update
Crosby is the runaway leader among Eastern Conference players in All-Star balloting announced yesterday.
He has received 94,118 votes, almost twice as many as the runner-up, Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov (48,134). Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara is third with 45,949.
Ryan Whitney of the Penguins ranks seventh among defensemen with 27,028 votes; center Evgeni Malkin is eighth among forwards with 18,015.
The Devils have used Patrik Elias, usually a left winger, at center in the past two games. ... The Penguins will visit Ottawa at 7:38 p.m. tomorrow before returning home Saturday to face Atlanta.
First Published November 21, 2007 12:00 am