Rangers backup goaltender Cam Talbot, who is expected to play his first full NHL preseason game either Oct. 3 at home or Oct. 4 in New Jersey, said the broken bone in his right hand that sidelined him for the Stanley Cup Final healed enough to allow him to begin lifting weights six weeks after the season ended.
"It was just a freak thing," Talbot said Friday after practice at the MSG Training Center.
The injury occurred during warm-ups for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals against Montreal when he was leaving the net and reached back and was struck by a shot. No surgery was required, but he couldn't hold his stick. "It didn't really change my summer routine," he said.
Talbot had not played in an NHL preseason game before Monday, when he relieved Henrik Lundqvist against the Devils midway through the second period and allowed three goals on 19 shots.
Coach Alain Vigneault said Talbot would play a full game during the preseason, but didn't reveal the schedule.
However, Lundqvist also is expected to play a full game, and the two other netminders left in camp -- Jason Missiaen and Cedrick Desjardins -- presumably will play parts of the back-to-backs on Monday and Tuesday against Philadelphia. Lundqvist could play against the Blackhawks at MSG on Oct. 3.
When Martin Biron retired at the beginning of last season, Talbot, 27, was summoned from the AHL and posted a 12-6-1 record and a 1.64 GAA during the season.
Malone sits out
Rangers forward Ryan Malone, who signed a one-year contract last month, did not skate Friday and is listed as day-to-day with a hip flexor injury.
The team said Malone, 34, who scored a goal against the Devils on Monday, was scheduled to skate in New York while a second squad made the trip to Chicago for Friday night's game.
Malone was bought out by Tampa Bay after a disappointing season and a DUI/cocaine possession arrest in April, and was signed Sept. 11 after his diversion program was completed.
It is the second injury for the Rangers this week. Center Derek Stepan fractured his left fibula during conditioning drills Wednesday and will miss four to six weeks.
Ryan McDonagh added an assist for the Rangers, who face Philadelphia on Monday and Tuesday . . . Nick Tarnasky decisioned Cody Bass in the first; the second featured a scrap between Dylan McIlrath and Pierre-Cedric Labrie after Labrie rammed Chris Bourque into the glass . . . The Rangers killed all three Chicago power plays.