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Jagr Leads Pens Past B'hawks


Chris Chelios left the Chicago Blackhawks after nine seasons and it took only one game for the results to show.

Jaromir Jagr had a goal and two assists Tuesday night to raise his NHL-leading point total to 110 and help the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Blackhawks 5-2.

Chicago was playing just hours after Chelios was traded to Detroit in a deadline deal. The Blackhawks fell behind 5-0 halfway through the game as their 2-0-1 streak ended.

"It was definitely a roller-coaster day for us," Tony Amonte said. "There was a lot of emotion spent all afternoon and you could see we just didn't have the jump."

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  • Said coach Lorne Molleken: "This was an emotional day for our entire organization."

    Even though rumors of a Chelios trade had circulated throughout the season, the reality of the deal hit the Blackhawks hard.

    "You never really think a guy like that is going to get traded," Amonte said. "He's such an asset to us ... he's our captain, he plays 30 minutes a game. That's a big hole for us to fill."

    Added Doug Gilmour: "Whether it was talked about or not, it's still a shock. Chelly had been such a fixture here and everybody knew he wanted to stay here. It's a tough situation and a very emotional thing."

    Chelios, a Chicago native, was with the Blackhawks since he was traded from Montreal before the 1990-91 season. The three-time Norris Trophy winner had played 664 games with Chicago.

    The result shouldn't have come as a surprise, given the Blackhawks' low standing, their poor road record (-23-6) and the turmoil caused by the trade.

    Yet Pittsburgh coach Kevin Constantine thought he was in for a tough night.

    Pittsburgh's Aleksey Morozov took a tumble, but the Penguins didn't.>
    Pittsburgh's Aleksey Morozov took a tumble, but the Penguins didn't. (AP)

    "I thought there was a chance the trade could help Chicago, to be honest with you," Constantine said. "Not probably in the long run, because Chelios is an awfully good player. But you saw Theo Fleury get traded from Calgary. Everybody thought it would hurt Calgary and all it did was probably put them in the playoffs. "

    "Sometime when you get that out of the way, everybody else can start to play hockey and not worry about it. The Chelios thing has gone on for a long time, like the Fleury thing, so I thought it might help."

    The Penguins stretched their unbeaten streak to 5-0-3 and Jagr extended his point-scoring streak to eight games.

    Jan Hrdina opened the scoring at 15:18 of the first period with his second goal in 19 games. Jagr got his 34th at 19:26 when he one-timed Kip Miller's pass from behind the net.

    The Penguins scored three goals in just over five minutes of the second period to run starting goalie Jocelyn Thibault out of the game.

    Alexei Kovalev ended an 18-game goal drought at 5:21 with his first since Feb. 13. Thibault got a piece of his shot from the left circle, but the puck trickled over the goal line. Jagr had the second assist on the goal.

    Robert Lang poked in a loose puck for his 21st on a power play. Ian Moran converted a pass from Jagr to make it 5-0 and prompt the Blackhawks to switch to Mark Fitzpatrick. Thibault allowed the five goals on 16 shots.

    Alexei Zhamnov scored on a Chicago power play at 13:21 and Reid Simpson deflected a shot past Peter Skudra at 14:27.

    Skudra returned to the Pittsburgh lineup after missing three games with a leg injury.

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