Gonchar goal lifts Penguins in overtime

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The Pittsburgh Penguins doubled
their season win total, got their first overtime victory and had a
strong start to their longest road trip of the season.

Sergei Gonchar's goal 1:01 into overtime lifted Pittsburgh over
the New Jersey Devils 4-3 Tuesday night for the Penguins' second
win -- the first in overtime in six games. Four of the previous five
had been decided in the extra period and one in a shootout.

"When you have one win, you need them all," Penguins
owner-captain Mario Lemieux said.

Pittsburgh, opening a five-game, nine-day road trip, dominated
for most of the game and led 3-1 on Maxime Talbot's short-handed
goal with 16:54 left. But the Devils (6-5-1) tied it on goals by
Brian Gionta and Erik Rasmussen, with Rasmussen's coming with 2:12

That set the stage for Gonchar, who took the puck inside his own
blue line and meandered through the Devils defense, hesitating at
one point before his backhander from in close trickled under goalie
Scott Clemmensen.

"I guess it was a long shift for them," Gonchar said. "We had
a shift change, and I was just trying to create something, go in
one more time. I had a chance to skate around them and find a

Not much has come easy this season for the Penguins (2-5-5), who
entered the game having allowed the most goals (53) in the NHL this
season. Sebastien Caron finished with 26 saves, Mark Recchi had a
power-play goal and Lasse Pirjeta added an even-strength score.

Talbot's goal, on a play in which Matt Murley took the puck from
Vladimir Malakhov outside the Penguins' blue line and fed Talbot on
a two-on-one, particularly irked Devils coach Larry Robinson.

"The one that hurt us was the short-handed goal," Robinson
said. "We should never give up a short-handed goal, but those
things happen."

Clemmensen finished with 33 saves and picked up his first loss
after two wins in place of Martin Brodeur, out with a sprained
knee. Brodeur is expected to make his return in the next game or

The Devils picked up the pace after Gionta's goal and came close
on several plays before Rasmussen tied the score. However, the
Penguins held on.

"The first thing I thought was that we had played as well as we
could play up to that point, and we were tied," Pittsburgh coach
Ed Olczyk said. "But we kept playing and the guys were resilient.
I'm proud of them. To finally get a break and win a game like this,
it was a great way to cap off a night."

Jamie Langenbrunner scored New Jersey's first goal in the second
period, one-timing a high wrist shot past Caron from the right
circle after Jay Pandolfo had outskated Pittsburgh's Steve Poapst
to a loose puck down the right boards and went behind the net.

Game notes
The Penguins recalled D Ryan Whitney and C Erik Christensen
from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Monday and Olczyk put both on the ice
to start the game. ... D Josef Melichar, D Ric Jackman and RW Ryan
VandenBussche were scratches for the Penguins. ... New Jersey
scratched D Colin White and LW Darren Langdon. ... Pandolfo
appeared in his 500th game for the Devils. ... The last time
Brodeur didn't dress for three straight games was during the
1993-94 season.