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Ekman to have MRI as early as today

| Monday, Jan. 1, 2007

There was still no update on Sunday on the extent of the injury to left winger Nils Ekman, who left Friday's game with an elbow injury. Ekman is expected to have an MRI either today or Tuesday, depending on the level of swelling in the left arm. General manager Ray Shero did say yesterday that they will not call up anyone from Wilkes-Barre. The Penguins had two extra healthy forwards before Ekman's injury.

• When Ekman left the game on Friday night, the Penguins were assessed a penalty for too many men on the ice because according to NHL Rule No. 74.1, a player "retiring from the ice must do so at the players' bench and not through any other exit leading from the rink." Instead of going to the bench or waiting for the whistle and the trainer before leaving the ice, Ekman got up and skated straight to the door to the dressing room, just feet from where he went into the boards.

"I looked at (coach Michel) Therrien and said there's only four, and he said go so I jumped," center Maxime Talbot said. "I've never seen that before."

• Talbot, 22, has been making faceoffs a priority lately, and he went 8 for 16 against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday, including at least two big wins against Mats Sundin.

"I realized I was too close to the puck sometimes," he said. "My blade wasn't totally on the ice, so I had to change the angle of my stick."

Talbot said he also got some advice from one of the linesman on Friday, who kicked him out of one faceoff but then told him to come see him after the game.

"He watches a lot of faceoffs, and he said that (Carolina's Rod) Brind'Amour's the best in the league, and even at home he puts his stick down before the other guy," Talbot said. "If I can get there first, I'll try."

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