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Pens Hold On For Victory

Thursday, 11.03.2004 / 10:42 PM / News
Toronto Maple Leafs
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Pens Hold On For Victory
Vs. PIT: Scoring | Stats

Leafs Lines:
Roberts-Sundin-Mogilny
Ponikarovsky-Nieuwendyk-Antropov
Stajan-Francis-Nolan
Fitzgerald-Reichel-Belak

Defence Pairings: McCabe-Leetch, Kaberle-Pilar, Berg-Marchment
Goalies: Kidd (L 58:20, 14 SV, 3 GA), Belfour (0:00)
Injuries: Klee (abdominal), Tucker (groin,abdominal pull), Mikael Renberg (concussion)
Healthy scratches: Berehowsky, Domi, Kilger, Johansson, Perrott, Wilm

TORONTO (AP) -- Pittsburgh coach Ed Olczyk thinks his team is being taken lightly.

Ric Jackman, Rico Fata and Aleksey Morozov scored against backup Trevor Kidd, and the Penguins won their season-high fourth straight with a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.

"When you hear a lot of the same things, whether its pregame shows or in the media about what you have to do to beat the Penguins, to just show up, believe me we're all professionals,'' Olczyk said. "We deserve a little bit more. Forget me, my players deserve a lot more respect than that.''

Pittsburgh owns the NHL's worst record, but is 6-2-1 following an 18-game winless streak (0-17-0-1). The Penguins have won four straight for the first time since a six-game run from Jan. 17-26, 2002.

Francis played 11:58 in his first game.
(Graig Abel Photography)
"We're finding ways to wins games. In our streak we weren't getting very good goaltending and our penalty killing wasn't very good,'' Olczyk said. "Now our goaltending has been superb and our penalty killing has been excellent.''

Pittsburgh won despite allowing Toronto a season-high 46 shots to the Penguins' 17.

Kidd, who has struggled while playing behind Ed Belfour, looked shaky early. Jackman scored on Pittsburgh's first shot, and fans jeered Kidd's saves in the second period.

The Maple Leafs didn't acquire a backup goalie before Tuesday's NHL trade deadline despite Belfour's recent back problems. Belfour didn't miss this game because of injury.

Kidd's teammates defended him.

"I can't see one goal that was his fault,'' Toronto captain Mats Sundin said. "We let him down.''

Sundin wasn't happy with the rest of the team.

"We can't give away games like we did,'' he said.

Sebastien Caron replaced Penguins starter Jean-Sebastien Aubin, who left the game after making 11 saves on 12 shots in the first period.

The Penguins only had two shots in the first, but Jackman _ acquired from Toronto last month _ put a wrist shot past Kidd during a power play at 6:22 of the first.

Toronto's Owen Nolan threaded a pass to a streaking Joe Nieuwendyk, who tied it on the power play at 15:36 of the first.

Kidd dropped to the ice too early, allowing Fata to give Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead at 1:17 of the second.

Morozov put a shot off Kidd's blocker to make it 3-1 at 16:10 of the second.

After Jackman turned the puck over, Sundin put a backhander past Caron with 6:06 left in the third.

Toronto couldn't score with an extra attacker in the final minute. Sundin almost did with 40 seconds left, but Caron made a late stop with his shoulder just as the puck was about to go in.

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