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Panthers answer Lemieux's magic with OT winner

11/6/2002

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- The Florida Panthers made sure Mario Lemieux didn't spoil their night.

Valeri Bure scored at 2:19 of overtime as the Panthers overcame a late goal by Lemieux to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 on Wednesday night.

Bure took a pass from Kristian Huselius and squeezed the puck past Johan Hedberg on the right side for a power-play goal, ending the Penguins' four-game winning streak.

The Panthers appeared headed for a win in regulation until Lemieux, the NHL's leading scorer with 29 points, tied it at 3-all with 9 seconds left in regulation.

With an extra attacker on the ice, the Penguins kept pounding
the net, and Lemieux flipped a backhander past Roberto Luongo.
Lemieux, who has scored at least two points in his last seven
games, assisted on Dick Tarnstrom's goal to open the scoring.

The Panthers, 0-2-1 in their previous three home games, turned in one of their strongest games of the season. Luongo stopped 26 shots for his second career win in nine starts against the Penguins.

"We played with consistency and probably deserved to win the game in regulation,'' Florida coach Mike Keenan said. "The exception is that you're playing against No. 66 (Lemieux) and he's magical and can get anything done at any time. For him to score the goal the way he did -- he's probably the only player in the league who can do that.''

The game had only two penalties, a tripping call against
Florida's Ryan Johnson in the first period and a tripping call
against Pittsburgh's Ian Moran 44 seconds into overtime.

The call against Moran led to Bure's game-winner and spoiled Lemieux's late magic.

"I have been fortunate to be in position lately,'' said Bure, who scored for the third straight game. "I credit my line for getting me the puck. On that play, Kristian made a great pass and all I had to do was take a good shot.''

Lemieux's late goal at least allowed the Penguins to escape with a point for the night.

"If you get a point, it's pretty good especially on the road, and especially when you score late in the game,'' Lemieux said. "They stayed in the game early. We thought we had a great first period, but they came out a little better in the second and got after us.''

Tarnstrom's wrist shot from inside the blue line put the
Penguins up 1-0 at 6:11 of the first.

Florida tied it at 1-all on Viktor Kozlov's slap shot with 1:22
left in the first.

The Penguins took a 2-1 lead following a bad line change by the Panthers. Alexandre Daigle took the puck near the red line, skated in on Luongo and slid a backhander into the net at 12:55 of the second.

The Panthers tied it 2 minutes later on Jokinen's goal, a slap
shot from the slot, and took the lead when Huselius rebounded a
miss by Marcus Nilson and knocked it in at 17:03.

"We had one power play tonight, but that's the way it goes
sometimes,'' Penguins coach Rick Kehoe said. "There are nights
when you have five or six, and then there are nights like the one
we had tonight.''

Game notes
C Martin Straka had two assists in his debut for the Penguins. Straka, who missed the first 11 games with a back injury, skated on a line with Jan Hrdina and Daigle. ... Pittsburgh's power-play, the most prolific in the league at 30.3 percent, was 0-for-1. ... Lemieux extended his points streak to 11 games. ... Luongo is 2-6-1 in his career against the Penguins. ... Florida is 4-0-0-1 in one-goal games.