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PENGUINS LOOK FOR OFFENSIVE SPARK IN CAROLINA

Friday, 10.07.2005 / 12:00 AM / Pittsburgh Penguins
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PENGUINS LOOK FOR OFFENSIVE SPARK IN CAROLINA

The Crosby Show continues its act on the road Friday as Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins head to Carolina to meet the Hurricanes at 7 p.m.

Crosby, the No. 1 pick in this year’s NHL Entry Draft, will look to tally his first NHL goal against the Hurricanes (0-1). Crosby did not score in the Penguins’ 5-1 loss on Wednesday at New Jersey, but he did orchestrate Pittsburgh’s lone goal when he set up Mark Recchi with a beautiful cross-crease pass.

Likewise, Carolina opened its season on the road with a 5-2 defeat at Tampa Bay, where the Lightning unveiled its Stanley Cup banner from last season. Radim Vrbata and Eric Staal scored both goals for the Hurricanes.

Nevertheless, it’s unlikely the Penguins (0-1) will run into a goaltender like Martin Brodeur, last season’s Vezina Trophy winner. Brodeur was in top form Wednesday as he stopped 36 of 37 shots and made several dazzling saves.

Martin Gerber and Cam Ward, a rookie, split time in goal Wednesday for the Hurricanes. Gerber gave up four goals on 19 shots in the first two periods before he was forced out of the game with a pulled hip muscle. Ward came in for the third period and stopped 10 of 11 shots.

Ward gets the start in net Friday and Kevin Nastiuk was called up from Lowell in the American Hockey League to serve as Ward’s backup. Pittsburgh’s offense will look to exploit Carolina’s inexperienced netminders. Recchi tallied the Penguins’ lone goal Wednesday off assists from John LeClair and Crosby. However, the rest of the team’s offense created chances, but was unable to beat Brodeur.

The Penguins will start Sebastien Caron in net Friday. Jocelyn Thibault played all 60 minutes for the Penguins on Wednesday and is slated to start in goal Saturday when the team returns to Pittsburgh to face the Boston Bruins at 7:30 p.m. at Mellon Arena.

Friday’s game is a sellout and Carolina put additional standing room-only tickets for sale on Thursday.

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