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Jagr's Four Points Slashes Habs


The Pittsburgh Penguins lost two of their best players before the first period ended against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night, but didn't lose the game.

They didn't win, either, as their home-ice winning streak ended at nine games with a 4-4 tie.

Jaromir Jagr scored the tying goal to cap a four-point night. Pittsburgh's nine-game home winning streak ended, two short of the franchise record set in 1991. The Penguins had won five consecutive overtime games before settling for their first tie since Dec. 4, 37 games ago.

"I was surprised we didn't score (in overtime)," Jagr said, jokingly.

Truthfully, though, the Penguins were probably fortunate to escape with a point in a game that saw them lose goalie Tom Barrasso and leading goal scorer Martin Straka while being outshot 37-18. They actually had a 3-1 lead halfway through the game.

"We had the lead but it was a lucky lead," Jagr said. "We didn't play good enough to get the lead but we still got it."

Barrasso left after seven minutes with a bruised right hand and Straka departed after scoring his 30th goal because of a bruised shoulder. Both players are listed as day-to-day, with Barrasso scheduled for evaluation on Thursday.

Barrasso was injured when he gloved Shayne Corson's slap shot. Straka fell on his shoulder.

Montreal is winless in overtime (0-3-9) while Pittsburgh is unbeaten (5-0-8). While Montreal coach Alain Vigneault was happy with the effort, he wasn't pleased with one aspect.

"I didn't like the way we started the periods," Vigneault said. "Every period we gave up a goal right at the start."

The Penguins scored at 3:50 of the first, and 34 seconds and 1:50 of the third.

Jagr held the puck on a 2-on-1 at 1:50 of the third period and wristed a shot through the legs of defenseman Vladimir Malakhov and past goalie Jeff Hackett's glove. It was Jagr's 29th goal and his sixth game with at least four points. His season best is five points against Buffalo on Feb. 2.

"Anytime you have a player of that stature, a guy who can win a game by himself, they can always come in and pull it off," Vigneault said. "Jagr got the tying goal and he was a threat every time he was on the ice."

After being outshot 17-5 in the opening period, Pittsurgh built a 3-1 lead with two goals in the first 10:10 of the second. Montreal then scored three consecutive goals in less than eight minutes.

Kip Miller broke a 1-1 tie 34 seconds into the second. Jan Hrdina threw a pass off the boards that Jagr couldn't handle but Miller got the puck and scored his 16th. Stu Barnes got his 20th on a power play at 10:10, firing in Kevin Hatcher's cross-ice pass on a power play.

Turner Stevenson started Montreal's comeback with a goal at 11:39, tapping a rebound past Peter Skudra. Malakhov tied the score at 3-3 on a power play at 16:20 of the second. Mark Recchi beat defenseman Brad Wereneka along the boards to set up Corson's 11th at 19:08 of the second.

Straka scored the game's first goal at 3:50. Hackett stopped Werenka's shot but Straka was able to gather the rebound and stuff it in for his 30th.

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