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Niedermeyer 'own-goal' helps Pens

1/7/2004

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Scott Niedermayer and the New
Jersey Devils gave the struggling Pittsburgh Penguins a gift.

Niedermayer scored a goal into his own net Wednesday night in
the Devils' 4-2 loss to the Penguins.

Matt Bradley got credit for the goal with 17.9 seconds remaining
in the first period as the Penguins built a 2-0 lead.

Niedermayer, under pressure from Bradley deep in the New Jersey
zone, swept the puck toward Martin Brodeur. It hit the goalie's
stick and glanced off the back of his leg before popping over the
goal line. A video review confirmed that the goal had been scored.

"It wasn't a pass back to Marty," Niedermayer said. "I was
trying to clear it hard behind the net. I gripped the stick a
little too tight and I pulled into Marty."

Mike Eastwood, Ryan Malone and Eric Meloche also scored to help
Pittsburgh to its first road victory since Nov. 14 in Buffalo. The
Penguins also snapped a four-game losing streak.

Jean-Sebastien Aubin made 31 saves in the Penguins' third road
win of the season.

Aubin came up strong in the third period, stopping 14 of 15
shots. He made a spectacular diving glove save on Eric Rasmussen
with 33.6 seconds remaining to preserve the victory.

"I was just following the puck and I knew someone would be
there," Aubin said. "I tried to cut off the pass but I missed it.
I got to the other side as quickly as I could. He was there. I was
there and I came up with it."

When the clock finally clicked down, the Penguins had a rare
reason to celebrate.

"We needed any type of win," coach Eddie Olczyk said. "When
you play as hard as you can against the defending Stanley Cup
champions, it makes it that much better."

Niedermayer and Patrik Elias scored for New Jersey, which had
won the last five meetings with Pittsburgh.

Eastwood opened the scoring at 10:38 of the first with a shot
from the slot that floated over Brodeur's right shoulder and the
Bradley goal put Pittsburgh up by two.

The teams exchanged power-play goals in the second period.

Malone scored at 7:58 to give Pittsburgh a 3-0 lead, and
Niedermayer beat Aubin with 4:18 left.

Elias scored 2:39 into the third on a slapper from the top of
the right circle. Meloche scored an empty-net goal with 20 seconds
remaining to secure the win for Pittsburgh.

Game notes
Brodeur has started 37 of New Jersey's 39 games. ...
Rasmussen returned for New Jersey after missing three games because
of a separated right shoulder. He started game at center between
Jeff Friesen and Sergei Brylin.