best games the Pens have played in a long time. They actually played hockey
for a full 60 minutes. Everyone contributed and played well. Though Paul
Stanton ended up in Scotty Bowman's doghouse very early in the game. He played
only 54 seconds in the first, and then was benched for the remainder of the
The Pens, just as they have in their past 2 losses, scored early in the
first. Kevin Stevens (Murphy, Recchi) scored at 1:50 in the first, putting
a rebound past Curtis Joseph. Mark Recchi(Stevens, Trottier)fired a hard
wrist shot from the right point (Recchi's favorite spot) past Joseph at
4:57. Joey Mullen(Francis, Samuelsson 11:41)broke in on Joseph and went
upstairs for the 3rd Pens goal of the period. Larry Murphy (Trottier, Stevens)
scored the last Pens goal of the night at 14:40. At that point, Joseph was
y*** for Hebert. Hebert went on to play a strong game, stopping all 27 shots
the rest of the way. But the damage had been done.
The Pens played a solid, 2 way game the rest of the way. And special
notice goes to Bob Errey, whose job it was to shadow Brett Hull. Errey
effectively shut down Hull without taking a single penalty. It got to the
point that when Errey came out to shadow Hull on a Pens power play Hull
laughed and said "You're not going to cover me here too, are you?"
Barrasso was effective in the net, stopping 31 of 32 shots. The only
St. Louis goal came at 16:50, when Marshall (Shanahan, Emerson) deflected
a shot past Barrasso.
Scratches: Pietrangelo, Lemieux (herniated back muscle), Jimmy Paek (tendon
surgery), Phil Bourque (broken left ankle), Jaromir Jagr (suspension).
Mario Lemieux has a herniated muscle in his back. The muscle is near the
incision from his previous back surgery. It is believed that the muscle
began to herniate during the Stanley Cups playoffs last season.
Although Lemieux skated though an hour long workout yesterday, he said he
will not return to action tonight against the Detroit Red Wings. The timetable
for his return to the lineup is uncertain.
"I wanted to skate a little bit and it went pretty good, actually. But it's
still too soon to come back. I don't want to go back on the ice and hurt
it again, and be out a couple of weeks. I've learned my lesson."
In more ways than one. While Lemieux is experiencing back problems Tracey
Luppe, the team's assistant equipment manager, has been assigned to tie the
big guy's skates. As silly as this may sound, a lot of Lemieux's problems
are aggravated when he bends down to lace his skates.
Lemieux admitted that surgery may be needed to repair the herniated muscle.
But he plans to hopefully wait until the off season to have the surgery.
After the Pens win on Saturday, my friends and I went out the the Pittsburgh
Sports Garden. There I had the chance to meet Jimmy Paek. He was a very nice
guy, and we talked about his recent surgery to repair a tendon in his left
He showed me his hand. The surgey was done to repair a torn tendon that runs
near his little finger. The finger was swollen and discolored. He said that
when his little finger dislocated, he heard a loud pop. He thought it was
the bone dislocating that was making the noise. Actually, it was the tendon
He said that while he has been skating, he hasn't held a stick yet. His
doctors plan to start therapy this week, and have estimated that it will
be another 3-4 weeks before he can return to the lineup.
He said he's going nuts just watching the game. He really wants to get back
into the lineup. He said he's going to try to return sooner than the
The Pens have lost the appeal of Jaromir Jagr's 10 game suspension.
Jagr says the contact was accidental, Ron Hoggarth claims it was intentional.
Since there was no tape, it was basically a case of Jagr's word against
the word of Hoggarth.
Contact for the Penguins