PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Marc Bergevin almost couldn't remember when he last scored
a goal. That was fitting, because the Pittsburgh Penguins almost couldn't
remember the last time they didn't lose at home.
Bergevin ended a 101-game streak without a goal and the Penguins rallied
from two goals down Tuesday night to halt their NHL record 14-game home losing
streak, tying the New York Islanders 3-3.
Bergevin hadn't scored since Nov. 23, 2002, when the puck deflected to him
in the high slot and he one-timed it past goalie Garth Snow less than two
minutes into the third period. Pittsburgh's Tom Kostopoulos had scored
short-handed late in the second period to make it 3-2.
``It came right at me and I didn't even know it went it,'' the 38-year-old
Bergevin said of his 36th goal in 1,181 NHL games. ``But I saw the replay, and
it was a laser beam.''
Rookie goalie Andy Chiodo, who stopped Shawn Bates on a breakaway midway
through the third to ultimately preserve the tie, said, ``I'm sure we won't
hear the end of it (from Bergevin) for awhile.''
The Islanders might not hear the end of this from coach Steve Stirling for
They lead Florida by eight points for the Eastern Conference's final playoff
spot, but squandered a chance to increase the lead by getting only one point in
the home-and-home series against the NHL's worst team. Before the series,
Pittsburgh won only once in 20 games.
``It pretty much feels like it was two losses,'' the Islanders' Mark Parrish
said. ``It doesn't feel like we got any points out of these games.''
The Penguins are 2-1-1 since losing 18 in a row, though one of the losses
came into overtime and prevented them from setting another NHL losing-streak
record. They must win four times in their final 16 games to avoid tying the
team record for fewest victories (16) in a season.
New York, beginning a stretch of seven of eight on the road, led 2-0 after
Jason Blake scored his first goal in 14 games with just over a minute gone, and
Cliff Ronning added his sixth goal less than seven minutes later.
``We got up a couple of goals and let off the gas,'' Parrish said. ``They're
a team that doesn't let up at all whether they're down 3-1, 4-1, 5-1.''
Blake was unhappy after being benched for the entire second period on a
night he and linemates Parrish and Dave Scatchard combined for two goals and
``I'm obviously mad because our line was going, was ready to play ... and we
were all hot,'' Blake said. ``We talked about it all day, that we had our line
Stirling said he sat Blake down for committing a turnover late in the first
``You know what? You make mistakes in this game,'' Blake said. ``It doesn't
cost us anything. Our line was fired up and ready to go, and that's just
unbelievable (to be benched). How many chances did we have?''
The Penguins, still winless at home since beating the Blackhawks 1-0 on Dec.
29, got back in it late in the first period when Rico Fata poked the puck past
Snow while being knocked off his skates in the slot. Matt Bradley collected
Landon Wilson's pass from behind the net and steered it through traffic to
Parrish, who previously set up Blake's goal, made it 3-1 midway through the
second when he intercepted defenseman Josef Melichar's no-look, backhand pass
along the left wing boards and wristed a shot past Chiodo. Chiodo made 31 saves
and is 2-3-1 since being recalled from the minors, easily the best record of
any Pittsburgh goalie.
But the momentum shifted when the Islanders not only squandered a chance to
make it a three-goal game during a four-minute power play resulting from Fata's
high-sticking penalty, they allowed a goal. Kostopoulos made a cross-ice pass
to Mike Eastwood, whose hard shot off the left post deflected back to
Kostopoulos with most of the net open.