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Penguins-Devils Preview @NHL
Penguins-Devils Preview

GAME: Pittsburgh Penguins (1-5-5) at New Jersey Devils (6-5-0).

TIME: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.

The Pittsburgh Penguins were unable to build on their first victory of the season in their last game. They may be even more hard-pressed to do it on their longest road trip of 2005-06.

The Penguins open a season-high five-game trip when they visit the New Jersey Devils.

Pittsburgh got off to a franchise-worst 0-4-5 start before rallying from a four-goal deficit for a 7-5 victory over Atlanta on Thursday.

Mario Lemieux had five points, including two of a team-record tying six power-play goals, in a win the Penguins hoped would help them end their early season struggles.

Pittsburgh, however, fell apart in the third period against Carolina on Saturday, relinquishing a 3-1 lead en route to a 5-3 loss.

The Penguins were up two goals with less than eight minutes to play, but allowed three scores in a 4 1/2-minute span. The Hurricanes added an empty-net goal in the final minute.

"We need to be able to be more consistent and finish teams off," Penguins coach Eddie Olczyk said. "This is a tough loss."

Lemieux played in his 900th game while rookie phenom Sidney Crosby was held scoreless for just the second time this season.

The Penguins, who also face the New York Islanders, Boston, the New York Rangers and the Thrashers on the trip, have already suffered two losses to the Devils, including a 5-1 defeat on Oct. 5.

The Penguins won't have to face All-Star goaltender Martin Brodeur again, but Scott Clemmensen has proven to be a capable replacement for New Jersey.

Clemmensen is again expected to start in place of the injured Brodeur, and looks to lead the Devils to their fourth win in six games after a 5-4 shootout victory over the Bruins on Saturday.

Brodeur suffered a knee sprain in a 6-3 loss to Tampa Bay on Wednesday, but an MRI revealed no structural damage and the two-time Vezina Trophy winner is listed as day-to-day.

In his absence, Clemmensen has gone 2-0 while stopping 52 of 58 shots, including two of three in Saturday's shootout, New Jersey's first of the season.

"Obviously, the American League prepares you well for this," said Clemmensen, who played under the NHL's new system of rules in the AHL last season.

Viktor Kozlov had two goals in regulation and also scored in the shootout for New Jersey on Saturday.

After Tuesday's game, the Devils will get set to host the Atlantic Division-leading Rangers in the opener of a home-and-home set Thursday.

STANDINGS: Penguins - 7 points, 5th place, 8 PB, Atlantic Division. Devils - 12 points, 3rd place, 3 PB, Atlantic Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Penguins - Lemieux and Zigmund Palffy, 5 goals; Crosby, 12 assists and 14 points; Sergei Gonchar, 24 PIM. Devils - Sergei Brylin, 6 goals; Alexander Mogilny, 7 assists and 12 points; Dan McGillis and Vladimir Malakhov, 18 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Penguins - Power play: 22.2 percent (18 for 81), 5th in NHL. Penalty killing: 74.7 percent (62 for 83), 29th. Devils - Power play: 18.1 percent (12 for 66), tied for 14th. Penalty killing: 85 percent (57 for 67), 8th.

GOALTENDERS: Penguins - Sebastien Caron (1-1-3, 3.97 GAA); Jocelyn Thibault (0-3-1, 5.65). Devils - Clemmensen (2-0-0, 0, 3.55); Ari Ahonen (no appearances).

SEASON SERIES: Devils, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 20; Devils, 6-3. At Pittsburgh, Brian Gionta scored two goals for the second time in as many games against the Penguins this season, and Scott Gomez added a goal and two assists for the Devils.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Penguins - 0-2-3 on the road; Devils - 4-2-0 at home.

Associated Press
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