Fedorov had a hat trick as the Detroit Red Wings beat Pittsburgh
7-3 Friday night, ending the Penguins' five-game unbeaten streak.
"It certainly attracts your attention,'' Fedorov said of
playing Lemieux. "It certainly attracts your best when you're
matching up against him.''
The Stanley Cup champions have not lost in their four games
since dropping their home opener. Luc Robitaille scored the
game-tying and go-ahead goals 53 seconds apart midway through the
first to put Detroit ahead for good.
Lemieux had two assists and now has an NHL-leading 16 points. He
played in his first game in Joe Louis Arena since Feb. 27, 1997,
and left impressed with Fedorov.
"He was awesome,'' Lemieux said of Fedorov. "The way he skates
is dominating, especially in the neutral zone. You can't defend
that. He took over the game.''
Lemieux plans to play Saturday in Buffalo after not playing
back-to-back games last season, when a hip injury limited him to 24
"That's obviously something I have to do more,'' Lemieux said.
Fedorov earned his fifth career hat trick -- all coming in the
second period -- with goals scored in three different ways.
His first was on a rebound off Darren McCarty's slap shot.
Fedorov then carried the puck from the left circle to between the
circles and used a Penguin and a teammate as shields to sneak a
backhander past Jean-Sebastien Aubin. Fedorov's third was a
one-timer on a give-and-go play with Brendan Shanahan.
"He's unbelievable,'' Aubin said. "I give him credit for every
goal he scored.''
"I may not play for a couple weeks, so it's good to get the
win,'' Legace said.
Alexei Kovalev extended his goal-scoring streak to four games at
7:53 of the first period -- giving the Penguins a 1-0 lead -- when he
skated with the puck from the left circle to the right circle
before circling to score from the slot. Kovalev's second goal came
on a power play with 15.6 seconds left in the second to pull the
Penguins within three.
Early in the third period, Ville Nieminen gave Pittsburgh
comeback hopes with a goal to make it 5-3. But just 41 seconds
later, Detroit's Jiri Fischer scored. Nicklas Lidstrom scored the
Red Wings' seventh goal midway through the third.
The Penguins were routed like they were 6-0 by Toronto in their
season opener, before going 3-0-2 in the previous five games.
Fedorov and Kovalev both have six goals. ... If the
37-year-old Lemieux leads the NHL in scoring this season he will be
the oldest to do it, surpassing former Red Wing great Gordie Howe,
who was 35 when he led the league with 86 points during the 1962-63
season. ... Fedorov's last hat trick was against Boston on Nov. 22,
2000. ... Detroit rookie Henrik Zetterberg missed the game with a
groin injury and is expected to miss Saturday's game at Nashville.