Final OT

Series (Game 1 of 4)

Florida leads 3-1

Game 1: Tuesday, October 25th
Panthers4Final
OT
Penguins3
Game 2: Friday, November 25th
Penguins3Final
Panthers6
Game 3: Wednesday, March 29th
Panthers5Final
Penguins3
Game 4: Friday, April 7th
Penguins5Final
Panthers1

Panthers 4

(6-4-0, 12 pts)

Penguins 3

(0-4-5, 5 pts)

7:30 PM ET, October 25, 2005

Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1 2 3 OT T
FLA 2 0 1 14
PIT 1 0 2 03

S. Weiss (Panthers - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

R. Luongo (Panthers - G): Saves: 38, Save Pct.: .927

S. Crosby (Penguins - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Pens winless streak at nine after OT loss

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The hurricane-weary Florida Panthers had plenty on their minds besides hockey, but still had enough to rally and win on a night Sidney Crosby seemed determined to get Pittsburgh's first victory of the season by himself.

Stephen Weiss' slap shot from the right faceoff dot eluded Pittsburgh goalie Jocelyn Thibault on a power play 53 seconds into overtime and the Panthers extended the Penguins' season-long winless streak to nine games by winning 4-3 Tuesday night.

The Panthers flew to Pittsburgh one day early because of Hurricane Wilma and admittedly were distracted during practice Monday as players worried about their families in south Florida. They will return home after playing in Philadelphia on Thursday, but are now on what becomes a six-game road trip because Saturday's scheduled home game against Washington has already been postponed.

"I think for a lot of the game, we tried not to think about what's going on back home -- and that's tough to do," said Martin Gelinas, who scored the Panthers' second goal. "So this is a big two points."

And a big two points that got away from the Penguins, who led 3-2 on goals by Dick Tarnstrom and Lasse Pirjeta in the third before Florida tied it on Lukas Krajicek's power-play goal with 2½ minutes remaining in regulation.

Penguins owner-captain Mario Lemieux then drew a disputed interference penalty in the final 17 seconds of the period that carried into the overtime, and Weiss took advantage of it to score his first of the season. An agitated Lemieux yelled at referees Stephane Auger and Dan O'Halloran as he left the ice.

Lemieux didn't talk after the game, but coach Eddie Olczyk said, "When he was that disgusted, to be as animated as he was, just shows to me there was no way it was a penalty."

Pittsburgh is 0-4-5, the longest season-opening stretch in its 39-season history without winning, and it has dropped its last 10 against Florida dating to the 2001-02 season. The Penguins have been the NHL's only winless team for a week and a half, and every other team had at least two victories before Tuesday.

The Penguins lost despite having a 12-7 advantage in power plays, mostly because the 18-year-old Crosby drew six penalties by himself. But Pittsburgh was only 2-of-12 with the man advantage, while Florida was 2-of-7.

"That's part of my job, to create some chances for us," said Crosby, one of the few Penguins players who talked afterward. "We did everything we could except win."

Panthers captain Olli Jokinen openly questioned whether the officials were doing everything they could to protect Crosby and Lemieux, though Lemieux might dispute that notion.

"We got a penalty every time we tried to take a puck off them," Jokinen said. "In the new NHL, special teams will win or lose you games. For a while it looked the other way around for us, but we bounced back."

Crosby assisted on Ryan Malone's power-play goal in the first period, his 10th assist in nine games, yet the Penguins trailed 2-1 despite owning a 10-minute advantage in power-play time in that period alone. Florida spent more time on the penalty kill than it did in 5-on-5 play in the first.

Still, Nathan Horton and Gelinas scored in the first for the Panthers, and the lead held up until Pirjeta tied it with his first shot of the game -- he played fewer than two minutes in the first two periods -- early in the third period.

Crosby then drew Jay Bouwmeester's hooking penalty several minutes later, and Tarnstrom scored 22 seconds later on the power play to put the Penguins up 3-2.

The Panthers got 38 saves from goalie Roberto Luongo, who kept the Panthers in the game despite successive 5-on-3 Penguins advantages in the first period. Thibault made 30 saves after bringing an 0-3 record and 6.30 goals-against average into the game.

"It's a game you say that he wins the game for us," coach Jacques Martin said of Luongo.

Game notes


The Capitals-Panthers game was postponed because power has not yet been restored at Florida's arena. ... The Penguins are 0-4-3 when trailing after two periods. ... Pittsburgh had never previously gone longer than the seventh game of a season before winning. ... Pittsburgh has lost its last five at home to Florida. ... Penguins F Andre Roy will miss at least two weeks with a broken orbital bone. He was injured Saturday at Boston.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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