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Devils Hang Penguins Out To Dry

Blowing a three-goal lead might have gotten the New Jersey Devils in trouble under Jacques Lemaire. Robbie Ftorek is different.


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  • McKay scored his second goal of the game with 5:07 to play as the Devils came back and posted a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night in referee Paul Stewart's first NHL game since beating colon cancer.

    Brian Rolston and Jason Arnott also scored and the Devils lucked out on a couple of goal posts before winning for the eighth time in 10 games.

    "Pittsburgh did a good job coming back and playing, fortunately we got a couple of posts," Ftorek said. "We worked hard and got that fourth goal. Bottom line that was the important one.

    "We're not happy giving up the three goals, but there was a lot of good that came out of the game as well," he added.

    Stu Barnes and Aleksey Morozov scored in a 45-second span early in the third period to tie the game at 3-3. The Penguins then nearly took the lead twice. Jaromir Jagr hit the outside of the goal post with seven minutes left and German Titov banged a shot off the inside of the post, a play on which Stewart emphatically signaled no goal.

    "It was all open," Titov said. "That's the way it goes."

    Moments later, Vadim Sharifijanov forced a turnover behind the Penguins' nets and McKay collected the puck and came out from behind and beat goaltender Tom Barrasso.

    "It happened so quick, I just tried to get out and get it on net," McKay said.

    Chris Terreri stopped 17 shots in winning his third game in as many starts. A last-second pass through the crease by Jagr glanced off the goal post.

    The night also belonged to Stewart, who was diagnosed with cancer in February, underwent surgery in June nd then chemotherapy.

    While the crowd came to see the players, it gave Stewart a very polite applause as he came on the ice minutes before the opening faceoff. He chatted with players and spent most of the night with a smile on his face.

    "Friday the 13th will always be my lucky day," Stewart said.

    Rolston, McKay and Arnott staked the Devils to a 3-0 lead in the opening 14:48 of a period in which New Jersey held a 15-3 edge in shots.

    Center Bobby Holik said the Devils ran into trouble when they got a little too defensive with the lead, something Lemaire would have stressed.

    "If we kept on playiong, kept on going offensively and trying to score goals, I believe they would break," Holik said. "We have to give in to that instinct and just go for it and kick them they're down."

    The most important shot might have been the last as Martin Straka deflected a shot by Kevin Hatcher from the point past Terreri with three tenths of a second left.

    Rolston beat Barrasso from between the circles at 2:30 off a nice setup by Jay Pandolfo. McKay put in the rebound of a shot by Scott Stevens at 9:23 and Arnott scored on a power-play shot from the left circle for his second goal of the season, both against the Penguins.

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