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Late Lemieux goal stops Leafs

Monday, 14.10.2002 / 12:00 AM / News
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Late Lemieux goal stops Leafs
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TORONTO (Ticker) -- The Pittsburgh Penguins still had no answer for the top line of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Aleksey Morozov and Mario Lemieux made sure that didn't matter.

Morozov scored twice on the power play and Lemieux netted the go-ahead goal with 2:18 remaining as the Penguins edged the Maple Leafs, 5-4.

In Thursday's 6-0 win at Pittsburgh, Toronto's top line of Darcy Tucker, Alexander Mogilny and Mats Sundin combined for 11 points. On Monday, the trio totaled five.

But whenever one of Toronto's stars scored, Morozov answered. He gave Pittsburgh a 3-2 lead with 51 seconds left in the second period and scored 3:13 after Tucker evened the contest at 3-3.

Mario was up to his old tricks against Toronto.
Graig Abel Photography
On Morozov's first goal, Lemieux drew a pair of defenders in the low slot, leaving Morozov open. Lemieux maintained possession and fed Morozov, who deked goaltender Trevor Kidd to the right side before scoring.

After Tucker's low shot beat Pittsburgh goalie Johan Hedberg, Morozov came through again, with a wrist shot that beat Kidd to the left side.

However, it was Lemieux's pretty play behind the net that decided the game. After Kidd stopped Morozov's shot, the puck went behind the net to Lemieux, who slid the puck through the goaltender's pads.

"He's done that 100 times," said Kidd about Lemieux's goal.

"It's the type of player he has been and it's what he likes to do."

Lemieux had two goals and combined with Morozov for eight points. The Penguins scored four times on special teams.

Since being put together by coach Rick Kehoe before Saturday's game, the trio of Lemieux, Morozov and Alexei Kovalev have combined for 19 points.

"He's been playing great the last couple of games, said Lemieux of Morozov. "The last two he's been the best player, going to the net and making great plays. He's got a lot of talent and he's getting confidence now, which is great."

"It's always fun if you play with the best guy in the league," Morozov added. It's really fun to play with him and when you win a game, everybody's happy and everybody's having fun the whole game."

Pittsburgh also pulled out the win despite being outshot, 27-8, over the final two periods.

"We won a big game tonight," said Hedberg, who stopped 27 shots after Jean-Sebastien Aubin left midway through the first period with a bruised knee. "They came in our house and abused us in the first game, embarrassed us bad. We really wanted to come here and beat them. Whatever it takes, it doesn't matter to me, if we win 10-9 or 1-0."

The Penguins also were aided by a favorable call with 24 seconds left. Mogilny appeared to have scored the tying goal, but it was waved off when the officials ruled that the net had been dislodged.

"All I know is I was getting hooked quite badly at the time," said Maple Leafs left wing Shayne Corson, who was behind the net when the whistle blew. "I really didn't know the net came off.

It's frustrating. It should have been a goal or at least a penalty. But late in the game it should be a goal automatically."

Toronto scored four times with the man advantage. Tie Domi scored his second goal in as many nights early in the first for a 1-0 advantage.

Lemieux tied it with 9:59 left in the first, firing a slap shot past Kidd for his 657th career goal.

The Maple Leafs regained the lead when Sundin scored his 400th career goal with 10:06 remaining in the second. He became the first Swedish player to accomplish the feat and 70th player overall.

But streaking in alone through the slot and despite being checked, Ville Nieminen tied it with a shorthanded goal with 4:39 left in the second.

"They're two great players and they had a great game," Toronto right wing Mikael Renberg said of Morozov and Lemieux. "I thought we played good in the second and third

Game notes: Pittsburgh's Dick Tarnstrom and Marc Bergevin kissed after being shown on the "KissCam.'' ... Pittsburgh's No. 1 line of Lemieux, Morozov and Alexei Kovalev combined for four goals and five assists. ... Pittsburgh goalie Johan Hedberg replaced Jean-Sebastien Aubin after Aubin bruised his knee in the first period. ... Toronto defenseman Bryan McCabe didn't return after getting hit on the left hand by a shot in the first.
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