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Thread: Penguins Notebook: Martin satisfied in burying Devils

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    Default Penguins Notebook: Martin satisfied in burying Devils

    By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    NEWARK, N.J. -- The bad news for Penguins defenseman Paul Martin, who spent his entire pro career before this summer in New Jersey, is that much of the Prudential Center crowd booed him every time he touched the puck Monday.

    The good news is that there were so few fans that the decibel count probably never reached double digits.

    And the best news of all came when Martin sealed the Penguins' 3-1 victory by steering the puck into an empty net with 10.9 seconds to play in regulation.

    But only after opting against setting up teammate Craig Adams, who had an open net from close range, as well.

    "I looked over at him, and the puck was still rolling," Martin said. "I'm sure I'll get some grief for it, but if it was flat, maybe I would have slid it over."

    Perhaps, but he acknowledged there were other factors at work. Like who the Penguins were playing.

    "I think I just had one thing on my mind, being in New Jersey," he said. "I'm not the type of guy who's concerned too much about my goals and assists [but] my emotions took over, and I wanted to put the puck in the net."

    Adams didn't take the decision personally.

    "I didn't expect him to pass it, but he didn't really shoot it in [to the net]," Adams said. "He kind of let it roll off his stick. I didn't really know what he was doing."

    The puck made it across the goal line, though, the final indignity for a crowd that had given Martin a surprisingly hostile reception.

    "I'm sure a lot of it has to do with the fact I left, and the fact I'm with the Penguins," he said. "It's not like I went out west to [Los Angeles] and I just come back once a year. I'm in the same division.

    "I'm sure that has something to do with. Hopefully, the boos are because they miss me and wanted me to stay."

    Still no goals

    Penguins center Sidney Crosby still doesn't have a goal this season, but he came awfully close to changing that with a stunning play off the opening faceoff.

    He pushed the puck past New Jersey center Travis Zajac directly off the draw at center ice, then chased it into the Devils' zone before getting off a good shot on Devils goalie Martin Brodeur.

    "I thought I might catch them off guard a bit," Crosby said. "If the puck wasn't bouncing, I think I would have been in. I thought I had a chance.

    "It's good to try things sometimes, put guys on their heels a bit."
    Going down fighting

    New Jersey enforcer Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, who missed Monday's game while serving a one-game suspension, might have reached the end of his career with the Devils.

    He was forced to sit out against the Penguins for instigating a fight with Washington's Marcus Johansson, a 20-year-old Swedish rookie, with just over four minutes left in the Capitals' 7-2 victory Saturday at the Verizon Center.

    New Jersey general manager Lou Lamoriello placed Letourneau-Leblond on waivers, with the apparent intention of demoting him to the American Hockey League if he clears.

    Letourneau-Leblond might have sealed his fate when he acknowledged to reporters that he was aware of the NHL rule calling for an automatic suspension for anyone instigating a fight in the final five minutes of regulation, but decided to go after an opponent who had no interest in trading punches with him, anyway.

    Early indications are that the Devils will use Letourneau-Leblond's salary to sign free-agent center Adam Mair, who has been working out with the team.


    Wednesday night's game against Toronto at Consol Energy Center will start at 7:38., a half-hour later than usual, to accommodate Canadian television. ... The announced crowd of 12,880 -- which reaffirmed that NHL teams announce tickets in circulation, not bottoms in seats -- still was 4,745 below the Prudential Center's capacity of 17,625.

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    Default Re: Penguins Notebook: Martin satisfied in burying Devils

    Another Story on Paul Martin !|PIT|home

    By Sam Kasan
    NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - Paul Martin played 400 career NHL games in a New Jersey Devils sweater, with many of them inside the Prudential Center. He made a triumphant return in his first appearance against his former team in the Penguins 3-1 win Monday evening.

    “It was a weird feeling coming up today and all day,” Martin said. “I didn’t know what to expect, and how everyone would react. You see some familiar faces. I had a lot of good memories here. It’s always tough, but you put that behind you. I’m a Penguin now.”

    And as a Penguin, Martin keyed his new squad to victory, snapping a six-game losing streak to New Jersey, with a goal and an assist. In a moment of poetic justice, Martin sealed the win by adding an empty-net goal to silence the 12,888 crowd that had booed him throughout the game.

    “I knew that I had time and the puck was rolling on its end,” Martin said of his goal. “I saw (Craig) Adams a little late and thought I could pass it. It kind of rolled into the net.”

    It was a nicer return for Martin. But to him, he was happier with the outcome than his individual performance.

    “It was just good to get the win,” Martin said. “That’s the biggest thing.”

    Goaltender Brent Johnson made his first start of the season for Pittsburgh, and he turned in a remarkable outing. Johnson turned aside 30-of-31 shots against and stood tall in net for the Penguins.

    “This is a building he played well in last year. We wanted to get him in a game. He came in and played a stellar game,” head coach Dan Bylsma said. “He was strong, made some good saves, was good playing the puck in the end of the game to help us prevent them from getting some pressure. It’s great to have Johnson come in and gives us that effort.”

    Johnson was particularly impressive in the third period with the Penguins clinging to a 2-1 lead. He stopped 14 shots in the last period. Johnson was strong between the pipes during a New Jersey onslaught halfway through the period after the Devils attempted a really after scoring their lone goal.

    “I felt really good. It was a complete team effort,” Johnson said. “It was just fantastic. (The Devils) started pouring it on in the third, after they got that goal. They were shooting from everyone and driving to the net. We did a great job of clearing second opportunities and not given them many chances.”

    They were buzzing around and getting chances. Johnny was great in the third period, great all game. We were able to hold them off.

    We buckled down in the third after they scored that first one. They put a little pressure on us. With five D we did a good job of keeping the shifts short and making smart plays with the puck, chipping it up the ice. That helps when you’re short your two top defensemen.

    The Penguins pulled off their 3-1 win at New Jersey despite missing their two top defensive players – and defensive shutdown unit.

    Brooks Orpik was scratched prior to the game. Pittsburgh then lost Zbynek Michalek in the second period.

    “You always worry about good players not being in your lineup,” Bylsma said. “Both (Orpik) and Zbynek will be re-evaluated in Pittsburgh before we know where they’re at.”

    The Penguins pulled together with only five defenseman. The gutsy effort resulted with a big ‘W’ in the standings.

    “With a short bench all the guys were pulling together and holding out for the win,” Johnson said. “(The Devils) were flying on all cylinders. I knew they were going to shoot and go to the net hard. I wanted to make the first stop. I didn’t really need to make a second. The guys were great in front of the net. All night our PK was excellent. It didn’t allow them much. We’re very happy with what we did tonight.”
    Last edited by Evilpens; Oct-12-2010 at 05:01 PM.

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