Series (Game 1 of 4)

Ottawa leads 3-1

Game 1: Wednesday, October 30th
Game 2: Wednesday, February 12th
Game 3: Saturday, March 8th
Game 4: Sunday, March 9th

Penguins 4

(6-2-0, 14 pts)

Senators 1

(3-4-0, 7 pts)

7:00 PM ET, October 30, 2002

Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

1 2 3 T
PIT 1 2 14
OTT 1 0 01

M. Lemieux (Penguins - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

D. Tarnstrom (Penguins - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

J. Hedberg (Penguins - G): Saves: 21, Save Pct.: .955

Lemieux has goal, two assists as Pens top Sens

OTTAWA (AP) -- Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins are making opponents pay attention to the NHL's crackdown on penalties.

Mario Lemieux

Lemieux scored a goal and had two assists to lead the Penguins to a 4-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.

Dick Tarnstrom, Jan Hrdina and Alexei Kovalev also scored for Pittsburgh, which won its third straight to improve to 6-2-2.

The Penguins scored twice in five power-play opportunities. Pittsburgh has scored 17 power-play goals in 10 games and leads the league with a 27.8 percent success rate with the man advantage.

''We've always had a good power play in Pittsburgh but not like this one, so far, early in the season,'' Lemieux said. ''We've spent a lot of time on it and we talk a lot about it, and the guys know exactly what their jobs are -- how we're going to react in certain situations.''

Lemieux increased his league-leading points total to 23, setting up goals by Tarnstrom and Kovalev before scoring his sixth of the season on a power play 2:56 into the third.

''The personnel we have, everybody can handle the puck and see the ice very well so it makes it easy,'' Lemieux said. ''Look at Kovie on the point, and Dick back there's doing a great job -- he's seeing the ice very well -- and (Aleksey) Morozov and Hrdina.

''The five guys on the ice know exactly what we have to do and we move the puck extremely well and quick. We find the seams and we've been doing that for the last few games now so it's working well.''

Lemieux and Kovalev extended their points streaks to nine games. Both players have points in every Penguins game since a season-opening 6-0 loss to Toronto.

''We started the season playing pretty good, even in the first game when we lost 6-0,'' Kovalev said. ''The difference between then and now is we started putting the puck in the net.''

Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson scored a power-play goal for his fifth of the season as Ottawa's winless streak stretched to four games. Ten of Ottawa's 16 goals this season have been scored on the power play.

''Scoring is our biggest problem, obviously, especially 5-on-5,'' Alfredsson said. ''We've got to get better at creating chances at even strength and getting some goals there. That's what's been hurting us.''

Penguins goalie Johan Hedberg made 21 saves to improve to 5-1-2.

Alfredsson opened the scoring with a power-play goal 2:07 in as Hedberg misplayed his slap shot from the point that passed through a screen set up by Senators right wing Brad Smyth.

Pittsburgh tied it on a power play at 6:28 as Lemieux passed the puck back and forth with Morozov before Morozov fed Tarnstrom, who shot into the open right side past Patrick Lalime.

The Penguins took a 2-1 lead 5:51 into the second after Lalime misplayed the puck behind his net. Pittsburgh's Alexandre Daigle passed to Kris Beech, who fanned on his attempt from the slot before Hrdina swept in to beat Lalime for his third of the season.

''That was a great giveaway for us,'' Daigle said.

Kovalev got his eighth of the season at 12:11 to increase the lead to 3-1. Lemieux made it a three-goal advantage early in the third when he one-timed a slap shot from the point through Lalime's legs.

Game notes

The Senators gave assistant coach Roger Neilson a portrait of himself in recognition of his upcoming induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Lemieux skated over to shake his hand as Neilson walked off the ice after the presentation. ... Lemieux has five goals and 17 assists during his streak, and Kovalev has eight goals and seven assists. ... Daigle, chosen by Ottawa with the first pick in the 1993 draft, was loudly booed by the Corel Centre crowd of 17,987 when his assist was announced. ... Senators C Martin Havlat missed the game and is day-to-day after leaving Tuesday's 2-1 loss in Philadelphia because of a groin injury. ... Smyth, recalled from Binghamton of the AHL, made his Senators debut.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press