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Capitals Give Penguins, Lemieux Their Best Shot

April 13, 2001|From Associated Press

The Washington Capitals, fighting a decade-long Pittsburgh Penguin jinx, put a hex of their own on Mario Lemieux.

Lemieux didn't get a shot on goal in his first playoff game in four years. The Capitals put a body on the unretired great, making Peter Bondra's second-period goal stand up in Thursday night's 1-0 victory in Game 1 of their first-round series at Washington.

"They play a tight-checking game," said Lemieux, who ended a 3 1/2-year retirement in December. "What are you going to do? That's the way the game goes in the playoffs. It's not going to be freewheeling like the All-Star game. If you expect that, you're at the wrong place."

In the seventh playoff meeting between the teams in 11 seasons, the Capitals avoided the disastrous start that led to a 7-0 defeat in Game 1 and a five-game series defeat a year ago.

Lemieux, who was on the ice for 24 minutes 3 seconds, didn't come close to adding on to his career totals of 70 playoff goals and 85 assists--failing to record a shot for the first time in his 44 games this season.

Colorado 5, Vancouver 4--Chris Drury's second goal, on a breakaway with 1:07 left, lifted the Avalanche over the Canucks at Denver in the opener of a Western Conference first-round series.

Joe Sakic also had two goals and added an assist for the top-seeded Avalanche. Former King Rob Blake had a goal and three assists, including the pass that set up Drury's game-winner.

Ed Jovanovski's goal, after a pass from behind the net by Henrik Sedin, tied it 4-4 at 10:17 of the third period.

St. Louis 3, San Jose 1--Pierre Turgeon, with a goal and two assists, and Roman Turek, who made 21 saves, led the Blues past the Sharks in the opener of a Western Conference first-round series at St. Louis.

Scott Young and Al MacInnis also scored for the Blues, who also took a 1-0 series lead before dropping the next three last spring against the Sharks.

New Jersey 5, Carolina 1--Bobby Holik scored twice and Martin Brodeur had to make only 17 saves as the Devils opened their Stanley Cup title defense with a victory over the Hurricanes at East Rutherford, N.J.

Sergei Brylin, Petr Sykora and Patrik Elias also scored as the Devils outshot the Hurricanes 36-18.



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