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Pens' Martin out with broken tibia

| Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013, 12:33 p.m.

The Penguins could play the rest of 2013 without two of their top four defensemen.

Paul Martin (broken tibia) has joined Rob Scuderi (broken ankle) on injured reserve. Martin is out four to six weeks, coach Dan Bylsma said Wednesday before the Penguins played the Toronto Maple Leafs at Consol Energy Center.

Martin was injured Monday in an overtime loss at Boston, though he played on the final regulation shift during which captain Sidney Crosby scored a tying goal.

“Most likely, (Martin) will not need surgery,” Bylsma said, adding that Martin was injured in the third period.

Martin's absence leaves many voids.

He had played more minutes per game (25:16) than any Penguin and all but 10 NHL players. His 11 points were tied with Matt Niskanen for the club lead among defensemen.

Martin formed a shutdown pairing with Brook Orpik and played on the first power-play unit.

Kris Letang, a Norris Trophy (top defenseman) finalist last season, mostly will play with Orpik, Bylsma said. They formed a regular defense pairing during the 2010-11 season.

Also, Letang will return to the top power-play unit, Bylsma said. Martin took Letang's place there last week.

The Penguins promoted Simon Despres from AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to round out their defense corps.

Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at rrossi@tribweb.com or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.

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