Sunday, January 26, 2003

Kovalev, Robitaille lead Pens

Pittsburgh snaps scoring slump 5-3

The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH - Alexei Kovalev scored three goals and former Miami University star Randy Robitaille added a goal and three assists as Pittsburgh broke out of a scoring slump to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3 Saturday.

Robitaille was moved from the Penguins' scratched list onto their first line after playing infrequently since late November. He responded by matching his career high with four points. His goal was his first since Oct. 21, during the Penguins' fourth game of the season.

Kovalev, an Eastern Conference All-Star, had scored only once in 15 games before Robitaille assisted on all three of his goals.

The Pens are looking to trade Kovalev, who figures to double his $4.5 million salary in arbitration next summer. Games like this make it tough for general manager Craig Patrick to part with him.

"I was glad to finally help the team," Kovalev said. "I scored enough to help us win the game."

Robitaille's biggest worry lately wasn't scoring but getting ice time. He was scratched 13 of the previous 17 games.

With Mario Lemieux out (groin) and the Penguins held to 11 goals in the last eight games, Robitaille was bumped up to the first line with Kovalev and Jan Hrdina.

"It was an important game for me," said Robitaille, who had 10 goals and 20 assists in 40 games with Pittsburgh last season. "I needed to get back out there and get some confidence. I felt good with the puck."

Blue Jackets 4, Islanders 1

COLUMBUS - Andrew Cassels had a goal and an assist and Marc Denis stopped 29 shots.

Bruins 1, Flyers 0 (OT)

BOSTON - Brian Rolston scored at 31 seconds of overtime, and Jeff Hackett made 24 saves.

Avalanche 3, Maple Leafs 0

TORONTO - Patrick Roy tied Ed Belfour for most shutouts (63) among active NHL goalies.

Thrashers 4, Rangers 1

NEW YORK - Dany Heatley, who won the Calder Trophy last season as the NHL's rookie of the year, scored three goals.

Capitals 1, Canadiens 1

MONTREAL - Andreas Salomonsson scored his first goal to lift Washington to a tie with Montreal.

Montreal's Saku Koivu scored his 100th career goal in the first.

Senators 4, Sabres 3 (OT)

OTTAWA - Daniel Alfredsson scored his second goal of the game at 2:22 of overtime.

Stars 4, Blues 2

ST. LOUIS - Pierre Turgeon and Scott Young scored late.

Panthers 3, 'Canes 2 (OT)

SUNRISE, Fla. - Stephen Weiss scored 3:40 into overtime.

Predators 3, Lightning 2

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Scott Walker and Adam Hall scored third-period goals for Nashville.

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