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Pens Keep Home-Streak Alive


The Pittsburgh Penguins like being home for the holidays, and proved it again Saturday night by extending their unbeaten streak on the day after Christmas to 9-0-1.

Jaromir Jagr scored at 1:18 of overtime to give the Penguins a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators -- one that kept the Senators winless in Pittsburgh throughout their existence.

The Penguins owed these two points to two individual efforts: Jagr and backup goalie Peter Skudra, who stopped 30 shots while playing for the injured Tom Barrasso.

"Skudra was tremendous for us," coach Kevin Constantine said. "The reason he's here is he can come up with performances like that."

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  • Spectacular play is expected from Jagr, handcuffed most of the night by the tight checking of defenseman Janne Laukkanen. The game-winning goal was his first shot of the game.

    "That's what Jaromir does," Constantine said. "He takes a game like that, where you think no one will get a good chance. He got a good pass but he almost single-handedly made the move and got a good shot."

    Jagr got the puck from German Titov and dipped past Andreas Johansson to get away from the right side. Once in the slot, Jagr fanned on a shot but stayed with the puck and put his 11th over Ron Tugnutt's glove.

    Jagr jokingly said he lost the puck on purpose, then admitted, "sometimes you need a lucky bounce."

    Ottawa coach Jacques Martin was a disappointed but admiring spectator.

    "He beats you 1-on-1 and then he gets a second chance," Martin said. "When he got the second chance, he didn't mss."

    In their last two games before the holiday break, the Penguins had two losses and were outscored 10-1.

    "You can play bad but you have to give your best," Jagr said. "We didn't play hard the last two games. Everybody knew it and realized we didn't play hard."

    The Senators are 0-13-3 in Pittsburgh since joining the NHL in 1992.

    Johansson scored his 13th goal on a breakaway at 10:02 of the first period. The turnover came when Kip Miller tried to make a pass to Darius Kaspapaitis at the left point. The puck eluded Kasparaitis and deflected off the boards to Johansson, who put a backhander past Skudra.

    The Penguins used a fortunate bounce to tie the game at 15:49 of the first. Jan Hrdina's shot hit off Tugnutt's shoulder and deflected to Ian Moran, who fired a 25-footer through a screen for his first goal since March 21.

    The Penguins failed on three power-play chances, and now have one power-play goal in their last 24 opportunities. The Penguins got their last man-advantage with 2:31 left in regulation and failed to put a shot on goal.

    Skudra made his second consecutive start since replacing Barrasso in a Dec. 21 game at Toronto. Barrasso sustained a hip strain but might be available for Wednesday against the Florida Panthers.

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