New Jersey (18-6-1) at Pittsburgh (8-18-3)

  • Game info: 7:30 pm EST Sat Dec 27, 2003
  • TV: Metr, ROOT
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Even with rookie phenom Marc-Andre Fleury playing for the Canadien junior team, the Pittsburgh Penguins still have a solid, young goalie in Sebastien Caron.

It’s the offense they need to figure out.

The struggling Penguins look to jump-start their offense as they host the defending Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils at Mellon Arena.

Caron stopped 41 shots Friday, helping the Penguins pull out a 3-3 tie with the Ottawa Senators.

Caron is 2-4-1 in seven straight starts since the Penguins loaned Fleury to the junior team early in December. He has stopped at least 25 shots in four of those appearances and at least 33 in three.

Fleury posted a shutout in Canada’s 3-0 win over Finland earlier on Friday.

“There’s a lot of pressure on (Caron)—has been since Marc-Andre went to Europe,” said Penguins defenseman Steve McKenna, whose goal early in the second gave Pittsburgh a 3-2 lead.

“A lot of people in this town saw Marc-Andre play today and maybe came to the rink wondering, ‘OK, now what does Pittsburgh have?’ We threw a pretty darned good goaltender in there.”

The Penguins haven’t been giving Caron much help.

Against the Senators, they were held to a franchise-low 11 shots for the second time in four games and third time this season.

“If it wasn’t for our goaltender, we would have got no points at all,” Penguins coach Ed Olczyk said.

The Devils are coming off Friday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Islanders.

Jeff Friesen scored with 8:01 left in regulation to cap a three-goal comeback and force overtime for the Devils. Brian Rafalski and Patrik Elias also scored for New Jersey, which has two wins in its last five games (2-1-1-1).

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