Penguins take advantage of NHL crackdown for third straight win

Lemieux enjoying unobstructed ice

Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2002

PITTSBURGH -- So far, Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins are enjoying the NHL's newly enforced crackdown on obstruction as much as any team in the league.

Lemieux set up three goals, Aleksey Morozov scored his fifth goal in three games and the Penguins held on to win their third straight, beating the Atlanta Thrashers 3-2 on Wednesday night.

Morozov left late in the first period when he needed 50 stitches to close a cut in his left ear, but it didn't prevent the Penguins' new top line of Morozov, Lemieux and Alexei Kovalev from piling on more points.

Since being shut out 6-0 by Toronto in their opener, the Penguins -- coming off a 28-win season that was their worst in 17 years -- have beaten the Rangers, Maple Leafs and Thrashers by a combined 14-6.

The Morozov-Lemieux-Kovalev line has scored 10 of the 14 goals while totaling 25 points in three games. Randy Robitaille also scored after replacing the injured Morozov on the top line.

The teams combined for 14 power plays, eight by Pittsburgh, as the league-wide enforcement of obstruction rules again made special teams play important.

''They're trying to give the game back to the great players and that's the way it should be,'' said Lemieux, who has 10 points in three games. ''You can make plays out there and it's making it exciting for everybody.''

Atlanta fell behind 3-0, then rallied with third-period goals by Ilya Kovalchuk and Dany Heatley before falling to 0-11-0-2 against Pittsburgh since joining the NHL.

''That was the way we are supposed to start the game,'' Atlanta coach Curt Fraser said. ''When we got out there, our eyes were as big as saucers watching Lemieux do whatever he wanted out there. We talked all day about it, prepared for it and when we got out there, we didn't do it.''

The three-game winning streak is Pittsburgh's longest since a six-game run in January, during Lemieux's only productive stretch of an injury-ruined season in which he scored only six goals.

Lemieux didn't get a goal after scoring four in his previous two games, but his playmaking was responsible for every Penguins score.

Bruins 6, Canucks 3

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Glen Murray scored twice and assisted on the go-ahead goal as Boston came from behind three times to beat Vancouver.

Sergei Samsonov, P.J. Axelsson, Marty McInnis and Joe Thornton also scored for the Bruins (2-1), who rebounded from a lopsided season-opening loss in Minnesota with impressive road wins over Colorado and Vancouver.

Harold Druken, Todd Bertuzzi and Daniel Sedin scored for the Canucks (2-2), who wrapped up a three-game homestand with two straight losses.

The Bruins took the lead for good when Samsonov scored with 2:08 left in the second period.

Kings 4, Mighty Ducks 2

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Jason Allison scored the go-ahead goal with 13:34 remaining in Los Angeles' victory over Anaheim.

Bryan Smolinski, Adam Deadmarsh and Eric Belanger also scored for the Kings, and Jamie Storr made 31 saves in his first start of the season.

Dan Bylsma and Steve Rucchin scored and Keith Carney had two assists for the Ducks.

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