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Battaglia, Tanabe tally late goals for 'Canes

11/10/2002

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Bates Battaglia missed yet another prime
scoring opportunity in the first period, skated back to the bench,
slammed the door and sat with his head hung for 30 seconds.

But Battaglia was able to leave the ice with his chin held high
after scoring the game-winner with 5:37 left as the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 Saturday night.

The goal was Battaglia's first in 15 games.

"I was pretty frustrated,'' Battaglia said about his missed
chance in the first. "I think I was ready to step on my wrists
with my skates, but that's just the way it's been going for me
lately. I had to go back out there and just do what I could.''

Battaglia had one goal in his first 20 games last season before
scoring a career-high 21.

"I felt like I was wearing a weight vest on and off the ice,''
Battaglia said of his recent slump. "I'm not here to just go up
and down the wing and dump the puck in. I can help out offensively,
and when I'm not doing that it hurts the team a little bit.'''

Battaglia's game-winner came from a difficult angle to the left
of Jean-Sebastien Aubin as Carolina twice rallied from one-goal
deficits to hand Pittsburgh its third straight loss.

"I don't think it could have gotten any worse,'' Battaglia said
of the angle of his shot near the goal line.

Aubin stopped 28 of 31 shots, but couldn't get at least a tie
for his team as he allowed third-period goals to Battaglia and
David Tanabe.

"I saw the pass go behind the net,'' Aubin said of Battaglia's
goal. "I didn't know he was going to shoot right away. I think my
defense tried to play him and it went between his legs, and that's
where I lost it. And when I saw it, it was just a little too
late.''

The Hurricanes improved to 4-0-2-1 in their last seven games
while the Penguins fell to 0-3-2 in their last five against the
defending Eastern Conference champions.

Carolina had to kill off more than a minute of a holding penalty
to Kevyn Adams with 3:35 left against the NHL's top power-play unit
to secure the win.

The teams exchanged goals 2 minutes apart early in the third.

A dump in by Mario Lemieux took a crazy bounce off the end
boards and right onto the stick of Alexandre Daigle in front of
Kevin Weekes. Daigle appeared to bat the puck out of the air with a
high stick past the Carolina goalie, but the goal stood after a
video review.

Tanabe, who had to leave the ice in the first after getting hit
below the lip with the puck, then tied it with a slap shot from 35
feet with Michal Rozsival off for interference. Carolina was
0-for-5 on the power play before Tanabe's second of the season.

"It was a little redemption,'' Tanabe said. "Any time you have
to leave a game for 10 minutes to get stitches ... it took me
awhile to get back into the rhythm. We just got the right setup on
that power play. We do that 100 times in practice, and today it
worked out the way we wanted it to.''

The assist by Lemieux was his league-leading 30th point and came
one game after his 11-game point streak was snapped.

Carolina trailed 1-0 after one, but evened it up midway through
the second after a turnover by Pittsburgh defenseman Dick Tarnstrom.

Adams intercepted the ill-advised pass near the blue line, made
a move around Tarnstrom and beat Aubin with an end-over-end shot.

Adams also assisted on Battaglia's game-winner.

Pittsburgh jumped on top first when Martin Straka, who missed 80
games the last two seasons with leg and back injures, got his first
goal since Oct. 20, 2001. He scored on a rebound near the tail end
of a 5-on-3 power play late in the first.

Pittsburgh has scored an NHL-best 19 first period goals.

Game notes
Pittsburgh has played all but one game against teams from
the Eastern Conference. ... Carolina has just seven first-period
goals in 15 games. ... The Penguins have scored first in 10 of 14
games. ... The Hurricanes registered more than 30 shots for just
the fourth time this season.