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Poll Question
In which place will the Pens finish this season in the Metropolitan Division?
Last Five Games
Record: 3-2-0
 11-24  CLB  4-2  W
 11-27  WPG  4-3  W
 11-28  COL  3-6  L
 12-1  PHI  2-4  L
 12-4  COL  6-3  W
December, 2002

Pens beaten by Blue Jackets 5-2 (31-Dec-2002)
The Penguins led 2-0 early in the second period only to then surrender five straight to lose 5-2 in Columbus. Wayne Primeau scored 6:21 in the first and then Michal Sivek notched a power play goal at 2:37 of the second. It was then all Blue Jackets as they scored three times in a 5:01 span of the second including two power play goals 58 seconds apart. Columbus had been on an 0 for 28 power play streak... The Jackets added another power play goal and an empty-netter in the third period. Johan Hedberg and Dick Tarnstrom returned to action for the Pens.

January practice schedule at Iceoplex (31-Dec-2002)
The January 2003 practice schedule at Iceoplex has been released. The Penguins will have four practices during January.

Pens four game winning streak snapped by Atlanta in OT (30-Dec-2002)
The Thrashers beat the Penguins 3-2 in overtime for the first ever victory over Pittsburgh after 14 losses. Andy Sutton opened the scoring for Atlanta with a shorthanded goal but the play was clearly offsides. Dany Heatley made it 2-0 with a power play goal in the first period. Milan Kraft then netted goals in the second and third period to send the game into overtime. The Pens dominated overtime (shots 7-1) and had a power play advantage but failed to convert. Ilya Kovalchuk won the game with a breakaway goal with 20 seconds remaining on Atlanta's lone shot in overtime.... Read more

Orpik sent back to WBS (30-Dec-2002)
D Brooks Orpik, a healthy scratch for the last four games, has been sent back down to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Orpik had no points, a -5 +/- rating, and averaged 18:18 minutes of ice time in 6 games with Pittsburgh.

Team wins fourth straight with 3-2 victory over Canadiens (28-Dec-2002)
The Penguins put a halt to an eight game winless streak against Montreal with a 3-2 win at Mellon Arena. Pittsburgh was down 1-0 after the first period but scored three times in the second. The Canadiens had a goal disallowed late in the second since the net was off its moorings. Milan Kraft and Martin Straka (2) scored for the Pens.... Read more

Daigle sent to minors (28-Dec-2002)
Alexandre Daigle has been re-assigned to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Daigle had 7 points (4g, 3a) in 30 games for Pittsburgh.

Penguins rout the Rangers 6-1 (27-Dec-2002)
The Pens get a late Christmas present from the Rangers in the form of a 6-1 victory. Pittsburgh scored three times in the first, twice in the second and once in the third for their third straight win. (This team is nothing if not streaky...) The only downside was that goalie Johan Hedberg left the game near the end of the second with a shoulder injury.... Read more

Pens beat Sabres 5-2 for second straight win (23-Dec-2002)
The Penguins score four times in the third period to turn a 2-1 deficit after two periods into a 5-2 win. Milan Kraft (4:50 - 1st), Alexei Kovalev (11:09 - 3rd and 16:02 - 3rd), Mario Lemieux (13:10 - 3rd) and Martin Straka (17:11 - 3rd) score for Pittsburgh. Attendance was 16,569 at Mellon Arena on Martin Straka Bobblehead Night.

Pens win! Pens win! Pens win! (21-Dec-2002)
The Penguins end their 10 game losing streak with a 2-0 victory over Calgary. Johan Hedberg made 23 saves in the shutout. The game-winning goal was scored by Steve McKenna on the power play at 17:43 of the first period. Martin Straka added another power play goal at 13:48 of the second period.

Pens lose 10th in a row... (19-Dec-2002)
The Pens lose 3-1 to New Jersey for their tenth straight loss. T-e-n-t-h straight loss. Club record is eleven set in 1982-83. Milan Kraft scored the lone Pens goal which put them up 1-0 at 3:08 of the first period.

Lupaschuk sent back to WBS (19-Dec-2002)
Ross Lupaschuk was sent back to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in order to open a roster spot for Michal Rozsival who has been taken off the injured reserve list.

Pens give up three in third to lose 5-2 to Phoenix. (17-Dec-2002)
The losing streak hits nine games as the Coyotes notch three in the third to beat the Penguins 5-2 in Phoenix. The teams traded two goals each in the first. Ville Nieminen (10:00 - 1st per.) and Jamie Pushor (15:57 - 1st) score the Pittsburgh goals.

On a personal note, my wife gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Ian this morning!

Pens blanked 5-0 by Mighty Ducks (15-Dec-2002)
The Penguins are outshot 47-19 and outscored 5-0 by Anaheim. Losing streak now at eight games. Pre-game news was that Kris Beech underwent an emergency appendectomy.... Read more

Pens fall 3-2 to Kings in overtime. (15-Dec-2002)
Pittsburgh lose 3-2 to Los Angeles with 37.4 seconds to go in overtime after leading 2-1 after two periods. On the positive side, the team gained their first point since the November 29th victory over Buffalo. Goalscorers for the Penguins were Alexei Kovalev (9:24 - 1st per.) and Jan Hrdina (12:36 pp - 2nd per.). The Pens only mustered 17 shots on goal during the game compared to the Kings' 33.

Daigle clears waivers (13-Dec-2002)
Alexandre Daigle was placed on waivers, cleared them on Thursday and can now be sent down to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. It is unknown currently whether he would accept a demotion or choose to retire. Daigle has been held pointless in his last 12 games.

Pens lose 5-2 to Sharks for sixth straight loss (13-Dec-2002)
Pittsburgh gives up three goals in the last four minutes of the game and lose 5-2 to San Jose for their sixth straight loss. Mario Lemieux scored twice on the power play and gave the Pens a one goal advantage each time. The Penguins remain winless in December.... Read more

Pens recall Kraft from WBS (12-Dec-2002)
Due to injuries to Aleksey Morozov and Steve McKenna, the Penguins have recalled C Milan Kraft from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Kraft has appeared in one game this season for Pittsburgh registering zero points, zero shots, a -1 plus/minus and 2:51 of ice-time.

Morozov and McKenna added to injury list (12-Dec-2002)
Aleksey Morozov broke his right wrist in Tuesday's loss to Toronto and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks. Steve McKenna, who sat out Tuesday's game, has an elbow infection but it's unclear how long he will be out.

Pens' losing streak hits five after 4-2 loss to Toronto (10-Dec-2002)
The Penguins fought back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game at two in the third but end up losing 4-2 to the Maple Leafs. Alexei Kovalev and Mario Lemieux scored for Pittsburgh. The Pens are now on a season-high five game losing streak and are winless in December (4 games). Pittsburgh wasted a strong goaltending effort from Jean-Sebastien Aubin in the loss.... Read more

Pens recall Lupaschuk and Orpik from WBS (9-Dec-2002)
The Penguins have recalled defensemen Ross Lupaschuk and Brooks Orpik from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Pens lose 6-3 to Isles for fourth straight loss. (7-Dec-2002)
The Islanders score twice in each period to down the Penguins 6-3 in front of 13,170 at Mellon Arena. The pre-game news was that Alexei Kovalev with sit out due to a bruised tricep and that Kris Beech was recalled from Wilkes-Barre. Hans Jonsson, Mario Lemieux and Martin Straka scored for Pittsburgh. The Pens failed to convert on two 5-on-3 advantages in the second period and went 0 for 6 overall on the power play.... Read more

Pens fall 3-1 for third straight loss. (6-Dec-2002)
The Devils get one goal in each period and beat the Penguins 3-1 in New Jersey. Oleg Tverdovsky scored 29 seconds into the game on a wrap-around goal. Colin White made it 2-0 NJ with a shot from above the left circle which beat a screened Jean-Sebastien Aubin. Martin Straka got the lone Pittsburgh goal with a deflection of a Janne Laukkanen shot at 12:29 of the third but John Madden finished off the Pens with an empty-netter with 31 seconds to go.

Pens dominated 4-1 by Caps. (3-Dec-2002)
The Pens get beat 4-1 by the Capitals in front of a mere 11,640 at Mellon Arena. Ex-Pens Jaromir Jagr and Robert Lang both scored goals for Washington. Mario Lemieux spoiled Olaf Kolzig's shutout bid with a goal at 17:07 of the third period. The Penguins were held to only 17 shots on goal by Washington's strong defensive play.... Read more

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