Final

Series (Game 1 of 4)

Pittsburgh leads 3-0

Game 1: Saturday, October 26th
Sabres2Final
Penguins5
Game 2: Friday, November 29th
Penguins4Final
Sabres1
Game 3: Monday, December 23rd
Sabres2Final
Penguins5
Game 4: Tuesday, January 21st
Penguins0Final
OT
Sabres0

Sabres 2

(3-4-0, 7 pts)

Penguins 5

(4-2-0, 10 pts)

7:30 PM ET, October 26, 2002

Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1 2 3 T
BUF 1 1 02
PIT 2 2 15

A. Kovalev (RW):

A. Daigle (RW):

M. Lemieux (C):

Pens score four unanswered power-play goals

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Pittsburgh Penguins thought an effective power play would be critical to a good start this season. So far, they've been right.

Alexandre Daigle
Daigle

The surging Pittsburgh power-play unit produced four consecutive goals to erase an early 1-0 deficit and lead the Penguins to a 5-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.

''We have the best player in Mario Lemieux and another guy in the top five or 10 in Alexei Kovalev, so we definitely should score on the power play,'' said Alexandre Daigle, who scored his first goal since returning from a two-year retirement. ''You're going to get six or seven opportunities every night, so for us it's definitely a key.''

Pittsburgh, which is 4-2-2, has scored power-play goals in seven straight games and is 13-for-42 in that span. Daigle, Wayne Primeau and Michal Rozsival all scored their first goals of the season with Pittsburgh on the power play Saturday, and Aleksey Morozov's seventh goal of the season also came with the man advantage.

''You get a guy in front, you hit the net and you can score,'' said Penguins' coach Rick Kehoe, who was encouraged to see Daigle and Primeau score goals by deflecting shots from the point. ''(Assistant coaches) Joey Mullen and Eddie Johnston have been doing a lot of videotape work and showing what the other teams are doing penalty-killing wise, and players are responding.''

Lemieux had two assists to push his league-leading total to 18 points, and Kovalev scored his seventh goal of the season at even strength 43 seconds into the third to give him a goal in five consecutive games.

The Sabres, who entered as the league's second-most penalized team, allowed the Penguins six power plays.

''I thought we had some very undisciplined penalties,'' Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. ''We definitely crossed the line of where we want to be.''

Buffalo, beginning a six-game road trip, is 1-4-1 since opening the season with two victories.

Adam Mair, acquired in July from Los Angeles, scored his first goal for the Sabres at 8:24 of the opening period when he slid his own rebound past Johan Hedberg for Buffalo's first shorthanded goal of the season. But Primeau scored his first power-play goal in three seasons just 15 seconds later, and Daigle's first goal since March 3, 2000, put the Penguins ahead to stay at 16:23.

Morozov beat Martin Biron on a backhander from the bottom of the left circle at 5:30 of the second period to make it 3-1. Rozsival took Daigle's pass at the right point and scored on a slap shot for a 4-1 lead.

''Going in, we knew they had a very talented power play,'' Buffalo's Stu Barnes said. ''But you can't give up that many power-play goals in a game and expect to be in it.''

Game notes


The Penguins are 10-1-4 in their last 15 home games against Buffalo. ... Pittsburgh was 0-for-13 on the power play against Buffalo last season. ... Lemieux (four goals and 18 points) and Kovalev (seven goals and 13 points) both have seven-game scoring streaks. ... Jochen Hecht's goal in the second snapped an 0-for-21 power-play drought for the Sabres.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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