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GAME: Pittsburgh Penguins (0-3-4) at Boston Bruins (3-5-0).

TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EDT.

Mario Lemieux and his ownership group paid out millions to reshape the Pittsburgh Penguins once the NHL labor dispute ended this summer.

So far, they haven't gotten the results they expected.

Lemieux and the Penguins look to snap their franchise-record, start-of-season winless streak at seven games when they meet the Boston Bruins for the second time this season.

Pittsburgh drafted Sidney Crosby with the No. 1 overall pick and added John LeClair, Mark Recchi, Sergei Gonchar, Ziggy Palffy and Jocelyn Thibault during a whirlwind rebuilding project.

But the Penguins are 0-3-4 after never previously going more than the first six games of a season without winning.

"It's a long time to not win, especially so early in the season," said Lemieux, who had a goal and an assist in Thursday's 6-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils. "It's certainly not the start we wanted, especially with the personnel we have here."

Palffy leads the Penguins with four goals, and Crosby and Recchi each have a team-high seven assists and nine points, but Pittsburgh has been outscored 33-20 in its seven games.

"We have a system, but guys aren't playing together and aren't all on the same page," Lemieux said. "We start playing when we're down two or three goals and you can't do that. That comes from not preparing mentally to play the game."

Boston also is struggling, having lost three straight following a three-game winning streak.

Bruins captain Joe Thornton returned after missing three games with a strained back and had two assists Thursday, but it wasn't enough as Boston allowed two power-play goals in a 4-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

"I think if we just stay out of the penalty box, we have a good team five-on-five," Thornton said. "I felt comfortable. It was just nice to be on the ice with the boys again."

STANDINGS: Penguins - 4 points, 5th place, 7 PB, Atlantic Division. Bruins - 6 points, 5th place, 6 PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Penguins - Palffy, 4 goals; Crosby and Recchi, 7 assists and 9 points; Gonchar, 18 PIM. Bruins - P.J. Axelsson and Glen Murray, 4 goals; Thornton, 6 assists; Murray and Sergei Samsonov, 8 points; Hal Gill, 23 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 20): Penguins - Power play: 18.1 percent (8 for 44), 12th in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.2 percent (39 for 48), 18th. Bruins - Power play: 16.6 percent (8 for 48), 17th. Penalty killing: 80.0 percent (44 for 55), 22nd.

GOALTENDERS: Penguins - Thibault (0-2-0, 6.46 GAA); Sebastien Caron (0-0-3, 3.60). Bruins - Andrew Raycroft (2-4-0, 3.25); Hannu Toivonen (1-1-0, 4.49).

SEASON SERIES: Bruins, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 8; Penguins, 7-6, OT. At Pittsburgh, Murray scored 1:23 into overtime as the Bruins rallied from a two-goal deficit. Crosby had his first career goal and Lemieux registered his first multigoal game since February 2003 for the Penguins.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Penguins - 0-1-3 on the road; Bruins - 0-2-0 at home.

Associated Press

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