Series (Game 1 of 8)

New Jersey leads 5-3

Game 1: Wednesday, October 5th
Game 2: Thursday, October 20th
Game 3: Tuesday, November 1st
Game 4: Thursday, December 29th
Game 5: Saturday, March 11th
Game 6: Thursday, March 16th
Game 7: Sunday, April 2nd
Game 8: Wednesday, April 5th

Penguins 1

(0-1-0, 0 pts)

Devils 5

(1-0-0, 2 pts)

7:30 PM ET, October 5, 2005

IZOD Center, East Rutherford, New Jersey

1 2 3 T
PIT 0 0 11
NJ 2 1 25

Top Skaters

Pittsburgh: M. Recchi - 1 G, 3 SOG,

New Jersey: B. Gionta - 2 G, 1 A, 6 SOG, +1

Joining Crosby at big names new to the franchise in 2005-06

Pittsburgh at New Jersey, 7:30 pm EDT

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Mario Lemieux knows exactly what Sidney Crosby is going through. He has been down the same road himself.

Crosby makes his highly anticipated debut Wednesday, when the Pittsburgh Penguins meet the New Jersey Devils in the season opener.

The top pick in the NHL draft this summer, the 18-year-old Crosby has been ticketed for stardom and tabbed as the savior of the financially troubled Penguins franchise. He recorded 66 goals and 102 assists in 62 games for his junior team last season.

In 1984, Lemieux underwent the same pressures as the league's top draft pick and scored on his first shot. He eventually led the Penguins to a pair of Stanley Cup titles and already has been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Lemieux, who turns 40 Wednesday, will try to get his team back in the playoffs after missing the last three postseasons. The Penguins posted the worst record in the league (23-47-8-4) in 2003-04.

Joining Crosby as big names new to the franchise in 2005-06 are right wing Ziggy Palffy, defenseman Sergei Gonchar and left wing John LeClair, who needs 18 goals to reach 400.

New Jersey begins its quest for a fourth Stanley Cup championship since 1995. The Devils were 43-25-12-2 for 100 points in 2003-2004 and finished second in the Atlantic Division.

Vezina Trophy winner Martin Brodeur is among the winningest goaltenders in history with 403 wins but must get used to the new restricted area near the goals, which may hinder his puckhandling skills.

The Devils, who allowed a league-low 164 goals in 2003-2004, lost two veterans on the blueline with the retirement of Scott Stevens and the departure of Norris Trophy winner Scott Niedermayer, who signed to play with his brother, Rob, in Anaheim.

Hall of Famer Larry Robinson returns as coach after guiding the Devils to their second Stanley Cup title in 2000. New Jersey also will welcome back right wing Alexander Mogilny, who signed as a free agent from Toronto.