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Penguins Penguins Report: 11/13/01

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

Compiled by Dave Molinari

SCOUTING REPORT

Matchup: Penguins vs. New Jersey Devils, 8:08 p.m. today, Continental Airlines Arena.

TV, radio: Fox Sports Net; WWSW-FM (94.5), WBGG-AM (970).

Probable goaltenders: Jean-Sebastien Aubin for Penguins, Martin Brodeur for Devils.

Penguins: Are 0-3-1-1 in past five road games. ... Have gone 3-1-1 in past five games at New Jersey. ... C Mario Lemieux has 44 goals, 80 assists in 63 career games against Devils.

Devils: Are 4-0 in games tied after two periods. ... LW Patrik Elias is only NHL player with two hat tricks this season. ... C Scott Gomez does not have goal in his past 24 games.

Hidden stat: Penguins, Devils and Tampa Bay are only Eastern Conference teams without victory inside own division.

NOTEBOOK

Coach Rick Kehoe tweaked the Penguins' forward lines a bit before an hour-long workout at Floyd Hall Arena on the campus of Montclair St. University yesterday. The lines looked like this: Mario Lemieux-Milan Kraft-Toby Petersen, Jan Hrdina-Robert Lang-Aleksey Morozov, Dan LaCouture-Wayne Primeau-Stephane Richer and Kevin Stevens-Kris Beech-Billy Tibbetts. Those combinations are subject to change, though, especially if RW Alexei Kovalev is able to play tonight. D Janne Laukkanen, who is coming off knee surgery nearly five months ago, said he is "probably looking" at returning to the lineup when the Penguins face the New York Islanders tomorrow night at Mellon Arena, although Kehoe said Laukkanen's return will come "maybe on the weekend."

Morozov's remarkable run of success against Devils G Martin Brodeur -- he has scored eight of his 41 career goals against the Devils, was the only Penguin to beat Brodeur twice in the Eastern Conference final in May and scored two goals against him in a preseason game in September -- will be on the line again tonight. And while Morozov clearly enjoys his success against the Devils, he can't really explain it. "I don't know why I have luck against this team," he said. "I like to play [in Continental Airlines Arena]. It's a big arena for me. I love it. When I step on the ice, I feel comfortable. That's why I play good hockey."

Jean-Sebastien Aubin will be in goal against the Devils, which means he'll make a second consecutive start for just the second time this season. Aubin also played in the Penguins' 3-2 overtime loss Saturday in Tampa, Fla. "That's been our policy," Kehoe said. "If you get points, you stay in." Aubin, who hasn't won a game since March 10, clearly appreciates getting another opportunity to break that streak. "It's great," he said. "We're playing a great team [tonight], and it will be a good challenge. I can't wait."

D Ian Moran, one of the handful of Penguins using the molded, graphite-and-Kevlar composite stick that has gained such popularity around the league, believes he discovered one of the downsides to it in yesterday's workout. "Everyone talks about how you can shoot the puck so much hard with it," he said. "Well, we had a scientific discovery this morning that when the [air temperature at the] rink is 15 degrees, it freezes, and you can't do anything with it. ... The stick itself was frozen. When the puck hit your stick, no matter how slow it was coming, it was like using an aluminum bat on a cold day."

D Darius Kasparaitis, who lives on Long Island in the off-season, pointed out where the World Trade Center towers used to stand in the Manhattan skyline to his teammates while they bused to practice yesterday. This was Kasparaitis' second trip to the New York area since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and there still is a trace of disbelief in his voice when he talks about how it has changed. "The city doesn't look the same without the twin towers," he said. "It's tough to see the city without the biggest buildings."

New Jersey, which has gone to the Stanley Cup final in each of the past two years, got off to a slow start last month, which didn't entirely surprise Kehoe. "They had a long year last year," he said. "I remember what it's like when you have a short summer. Other teams, when you're finishing up to [begin to] relax, they're starting to train, to get back in shape, so they've got a jump-start on you." The Devils, though, have gone 8-1-1-1 in their past 11 games -- each of their losses during that stretch has been by one goal -- and Kehoe believes they will continue to be a force throughout the season. "They've got a solid team," he said. "They still have the personnel that got them there the last two years."

D Ken Daneyko is scheduled to appear in his 1,160th career game, tying Montreal's Bob Gainey for seventh place on the all-time list of players who have spent their entire career with one team.

MINOR-LEAGUE REPORT
SUNDAY'S RESULTS

WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON (3-11-2-1) lost, 4-3, to Norfolk at First Union Arena. RW Tom Kostopoulos scored his team-high 12th goal, LW Martin Sonnenberg his fifth, RW Eric Meloche his fourth. G Sebastien Caron stopped 27 of 31 shots.

WHEELING (6-6) won, 5-3, against Atlantic City at Wheeling Civic Center. C Chris Wells, the Penguins' first-round pick in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft, scored his first two goals of the season. C Dylan Gyori and RW Brendan Walsh each scored his fourth goal, D Kurtis Drummond his third. G Joel Laing stopped 29 of 32 shots.

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