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Senators rip Penguins, tussle with Mario

2/13/2002

OTTAWA (AP) -- After seeing his Pittsburgh Penguins produce a
lackluster effort, at least Mario Lemieux could look forward to
joining Team Canada's more potent lineup in the Olympics.

Shawn McEachern scored twice, and Patrick Lalime made 25 saves
to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 5-1 victory Tuesday night over the
Penguins.

The loss left Pittsburgh winless in its last seven following the
final game for each team before the NHL's Olympic break.

"Until tonight, we were in most of the games, but tonight we
didn't have a solid effort from everybody and it showed," Lemieux
said. "I think the break is welcome for everybody. These guys can
relax a little bit and come back fresh.

"We have 24 games left so there's still plenty of time," he
added, "but we've got to get on a roll like we did a couple of
weeks ago."

Radek Bonk, Chris Herperger and Zdeno Chara also scored for the
Senators, who will send five players to the Olympics.

Those players were introduced after the game along with the six
Penguins -- including Lemieux -- who will take part in the final
round of the Olympic tournament.

"It's always exciting every time you have a chance to play with
a great team and represent your country -- and really have a good
chance to be successful," said Lemieux, who will captain Team
Canada. "It's something very exciting for all the players involved
and as I've said many, many times, I'm looking forward to it."

Though criticized recently in Pittsburgh, where he is perceived
to be placing more emphasis on the Olympics instead of the
Penguins' drive for a playoff spot, Lemieux received a standing
ovation from the partisan crowd.

Lemieux was struck on the leg with a slap shot by teammate
Michal Rozsival midway through the second period. He briefly went
to the dressing room before returning to the bench with under five
minutes left in the period.

"I had a problem with my skates," Lemieux said. "I just came
in, got them fixed, and went back out."

He then got into a tussle with defenseman Karel Rachunek 5:08
into the third.

After a scrum in the corner was broken up, Rachunek was
penalized for roughing while Lemieux was sent off with minors for
cross-checking and roughing.

"I was a little surprised because he's a playmaker, not a
troublemaker," Rachunek said. "I was ready to drop the gloves but
he did first, and then everybody jumped in."

Kris Beech scored Pittsburgh's lone goal late in the second. The
Penguins are 0-4-1-2 following a season-high six-game winning
streak.

"It was a fun game for us because they're such an offensive
team, and we shut them down pretty good," McEachern said.

Ottawa had to kill a major penalty early in the first after
Martin Havlat was sent off for boarding defenseman Josef Melichar,
who sustained a separated left shoulder on the play.

Lalime made a sprawling save on Jan Hrdina as the Senators
killed off the five-minute penalty before Bonk opened the scoring
with a short-handed goal 14:27 in.

Marian Hossa rushed the length of the ice and fired a shot that
squeaked through Johan Hedberg's pads. The puck was behind the
Pittsburgh goalie in the crease and Bonk tapped it into the open
net before breaking into a sheepish grin.

McEachern made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at 18:39 before
scoring his second of the game -- 11th of the season -- 3:14 into the
second to put Ottawa up by three.

Beech scored his seventh to cut it to 3-1 at 14:09, but
Herperger restored the Senators' three-goal margin with an
unassisted goal with 32 seconds left in the second.

Chara closed out the scoring with his seventh goal with 3:24
left in the third.

Game notes
Melichar will be examined in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. ...
Penguins going to the Olympics include Lemieux, Hedberg (Sweden),
Darius Kasparaitis and Alexei Kovalev (Russia), and Hrdina and
Robert Lang (Czech Republic). ... Penguins general manager Craig
Patrick will perform the same function for the U.S. Olympic team.
... Senators going to the Olympics include Daniel Alfredsson and
Magnus Arvedson (Sweden), Jani Hurme and Sami Salo (Finland), and
Havlat (Czech Republic). ... Senators coach Jacques Martin is also
going as part of Canada's coaching staff. ... McEachern had his
second two-goal game of the season, and first since Nov. 13. ...
Ottawa outshot Pittsburgh 16-5 in the second, 37-26 overall.