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Penguins Penguins Report: 01/06/01

Saturday, January 06, 2001

Compiled by Dejan Kovacevic

LOOKING AHEAD

Penguins vs. Washington Capitals, 7:08 p.m. Monday, MCI Center, Washington. TV, radio: Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh; WWSW-FM (94.5), WBGG-AM (970).

NOTEBOOK

The Penguins scratched RW Aleksey Morozov, D Jiri Slegr and D Jeff Norton. Morozov, who has one goal this season and none in his past 22 games, was a healthy scratch for the first time this year. Slegr's scratch also was a first, and it came on the heels of two games in which he posted a minus-3 rating. Norton was scratched for a second consecutive game. With the return of D Bob Boughner, out since Nov. 11 because of a broken wrist, it marked only the second game all year the Penguins entered with no players injured. The other was a 3-2 victory against the Lightning Oct. 13 at Mellon Arena. The Canadiens did not dress G Jeff Hackett (hand), C Trevor Linden (foot), RW Martin Rucinsky (knee), LW Gino Odjick (wrist), LW Dainius Zubrus (concussion), LW Benoit Brunet (knee), LW Andrei Bashkirov (knee), D Francois Bouillon (ankle) and D Craig Rivet (shoulder).

Before the game last night, the Penguins retired the No. 21 of RW Michel Briere, who was killed in an auto accident after a promising rookie season in 1969-70. A blue-and-white banner was raised above the center-ice scoreboard in the spot where C Mario Lemieux's No. 66 had hung until two weeks ago. Briere's son, Martin, traveled to Pittsburgh for the first time to attend the ceremony. No Penguins player has worn Briere's number since his accident. With Lemieux back on the ice, it is the only number retired by the franchise.

Also before the game, Lemieux and RW Jean Pronovost were honored for their selection to the franchise's Millennium Team last year. Coins bearing their likeness were given to all fans in attendance. Pronovost, 55, played in Pittsburgh from 1968-78 and ranks third on the Penguins' all-time list with 316 goals and fifth in points with 603 in 753 games. He was an intelligent, speedy component of the Century Line, the team's top unit through much of the 1970s, along with C Syl Apps and LW Lowell MacDonald. Pronovost also was Briere's linemate during his only NHL season. "I left my heart in Pittsburgh," Pronovost said.

The Lemieux fuss rolls on and on. He is the subject of a feature article in the new issue of People which hit the newsstands yesterday. The magazine's staff was given rare access to Lemieux's home and family in early December. Also, Lemieux will be the focus of an unprecedented approach to televising a hockey game when the Penguins visit Boston Tuesday. The NHL and Canadian network CTV Sportsnet will televise the entire game using an isolation camera on Lemieux. The broadcast will be available in the United States only to NHL Center Ice cable subscribers.

Even though the Canadiens have fallen on extremely lean times, Lemieux said he was excited to face the team he supported in his youth: "It's always special to play Montreal. I grew up there, and I was always a big fan of the Canadiens. I have a lot of friends back there who are going to watch the game, a lot of family. It's always a special night."

LW Brian Savage has been one of Montreal's few bright spots. He netted his team-high 15th goal last night, his seventh in the past six games. "Things have been bouncing in for me lately," he said. "It's funny how that works. In November, I had a stretch where I had 60 shots and maybe one or two goals. Now they're going in off my skate, off my knee pad. I think I'm still getting the same number of chances."

LW Jan Fadrny, the Penguins' sixth-round choice in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, yesterday was named the Western Hockey League's player of the month in the Western Conference for December. Fadrny, 19, had seven goals and nine assists for the Kelowna Rockets.

If you're looking to make the 4 1/2-hour drive to Washington Monday for the Penguins' visit to the MCI Center, don't delay buying your tickets. It will mark the first road game of Lemieux's comeback, and Capitals officials are reporting that only single seats remain. The building's capacity for hockey is 18,672.

MINOR-LEAGUE REPORT

Thursday's results

WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON (19-11-5) did not play. D John Slaney leads the Baby Penguins and ranks sixth in AHL scoring with eight goals and 34 assists in 34 games. He has 11 more points than any other defenseman in the league.

WHEELING (10-18-5) did not play.

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