Penguin owner to sit out for month

Posted: Monday, October 29, 2001

PITTSBURGH -- Mario Lemieux, bothered since training camp by a sore hip, sat out Sunday night because of the injury.

The Pittsburgh Penguins star missed the game against Florida after being limited to 6 1/2 minutes on Saturday night.

After that 4-0 loss, Lemieux said he probably needs to stay out until his hip muscle gets better.

''It might be a while this time,'' Lemieux said.

Lemieux missed two games following the season-opening loss to Colorado on Oct. 3. But the hip flexor injury that has nagged him since he was hurt during training camp did not substantially improve.

Lemieux has scored only one goal in eight games during the worst start of his NHL career.

''He wants to play and, when you want to play, sometimes you go out and play in pain maybe when you should be resting,'' coach Rick Kehoe said.

Sunday night's game was the second of five in eight days for the Penguins, who also play Wednesday at Philadelphia, Thursday against Toronto and Saturday against Tampa Bay.

Lemieux has attempted to keep playing, Kehoe said, ''because every day it's kind of different for him.''

''When you lose a player like Mario, it's a huge, huge loss to the team,'' forward Wayne Primeau said.

Penguins 2, Panthers 2

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh scored a late goal to salvage a tie with Florida, but the Penguins learned they lost Mario Lemieux for up to a month and Martin Straka indefinitely.

Milan Kraft scored in the last minute of regulation for the Penguins, who announced that Lemieux would undergo hip surgery Monday that will keep him out 3-to-4 weeks.

Straka, the Penguins' leading scorer, broke his right leg about seven minutes into the second period. The left wing was injured when his leg caught in the ice as he was being knocked down by Lance Ward.

Avalanche 3, Mighty Ducks 2

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Stephen Reinprecht scored the tying goal early in the third period and Martin Skoula got the game-winner with 6:35 remaining as Colorado rallied to beat Anaheim.

Joe Sakic also scored, and David Aebischer made 21 saves for the Stanley Cup champions, whose 538 third-period goals since the 1995-96 season are more than any team except Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Samuel Pahlsson gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead, ending a string of 16 unsuccessful Anaheim power plays, and snapping a streak of 24 consecutive penalty kills by the Avalanche.

Anaheim's Paul Kariya failed to score a goal in his 10th consecutive game, matching the longest drought of his eight-year NHL career.

Bruins 3, Blackhawks 3

CHICAGO -- Joe Thornton and Bill Guerin scored when the Boston Bruins needed it most.

Down by two goals with only 18 seconds remaining, the Bruins scored twice to earn a 3-3 tie against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night.

Thornton wristed a pass from Sergei Samsonov past Chicago goalie Jocelyn Thibault with one second to play, sending the game into overtime.

''It doesn't matter when you score them, as long as you score them,'' Thornton said.

Guerin made it 3-2 just 17 seconds earlier by deflecting Brian Rolston's shot for a power-play goal.

''I just stood in front of the net and Rollie took a shot and it deflected,'' Guerin said of his second goal of the season. ''It was a weird goal, nothing that I did.''

Chris McAlpine received a double minor for high-sticking Martin Lapointe with 3:57 remaining, costing Chicago a point.

''We had some set situations in mind,'' Bruins coach Robbie Ftorek said of the power play. ''These guys are going to get the job done for us.''

Blackhawks coach Brian Sutter lamented the wasted lead.

''It's unfortunate what happened at the end of the game,'' he said. ''They just threw two pucks at the net. One guy just went to the front of the net. Those things are going to happen.''

Chicago extended its unbeaten streak to seven games (4-0-3) and improved to 4-0-2 at home, the Blackhawks best start since their first at the United Center in 1994-95. Boston is 2-1-3 in its last five games.

''They got two lucky goals,'' Thibault said. ''It's very very frustrating.''

After passes from Igor Korolev and Mark Bell, Steve Thomas' one-timer from the faceoff dot in the left circle beat backup Boston goalie John Grahame to give Chicago a 2-1 lead at 1:22 in the third.

Steve Sullivan scored on the power play to give Chicago a two-goal lead at 8:29 in the third. Sullivan deflected Jaroslav Spacek's slap shot over Grahame's shoulder for his third goal of the season.

''I was lucky enough to win the faceoff back clean and went straight to the net,'' Sullivan said. ''Spacek was able to see me there and made more of a slap pass, and I was able to tip it in.''

Eric Daze opened the scoring at 11:06 in the first period. With Andrei Nazarov sitting for unsportsmanlike conduct, Daze's shot from the top of the left circle deflected off Don Sweeney and slid under Grahame for his team-leading eighth goal and 13th point.

''We worked hard to get the lead from a team that I think gave up three goals twice this year,'' Sutter said. ''They're the best in the league at killing penalties, and we simplified it as the game went on.''

With 1:01 remaining in the second and the Bruins holding the man advantage, Lapointe scored by wristing a pass from Thornton.

''The game was kind of a sleeper,'' Guerin added. ''We fought back and got a tie.''

Thibault made 22 saves in his seventh straight start for Chicago, and is 4-0-3 in those games.

Grahame, relieving Byron Dafoe for the second time this season, allowed three goals on 36 shots, the most Boston has allowed this season.

Notes: Daze extended his point-game streak to eight (seven goals and four assists). ... Chicago won only 14 games at home last season. ... Ftorek coached his 300th NHL game. ... Bob Probert left in the first period after being bloodied during a fight with Nazarov but returned in the second. ... Blackhawks C Michael Nylander earned his team-leading 10th assist. ... Chicago's Phil Housley did not play due to a concussion suffered against San Jose.

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