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Pens, Predators Fight To Tie


Nashville goaltender Tomas Vokoun had the flu, but you couldn't tell by his performance.

Vokoun made 29 saves made 29 saves Saturday as the Predators tied the Pittsburgh Penguins 1-1.

Robert Lang scored on a power play early in the third period to give the Penguins the tie and extend their unbeaten streak to five games.

That was all the powerful Penguins could manage against Vokoun, who said he thought about asking out of the lineup because he felt so bad. But with Mike Dunham nursing a groin pull, Vokoun didn't want to pass up his first chance to play in nearly a month.

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  • "I don't feel good at all," he said. "I have a headache and my stomach felt bad. I had a little fever last night, too."

    One more symptom and he may have had a shutout.

    "He told me before the game that he hadn't been feeling real well for the last couple of days," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "That's sort of a hard time to tell me. I just told him, well, you're in there. Sometimes it works better that way."

    After playing some of the NHL's best teams this month, the Penguins have had consecutive lackluster games against last-place Tampa Bay and the expansion Predators.

    "It's a little bit hard to get excited," Lang said. "You want to beat Dallas and Philadelphia because they are ahead of you or they are contenders for the Cup. So, definitely, you get more excited playing against those teams. On the other hand, when you play Tampa or Nashville, it's kind of a must point, so you better be ready to work hard."

    Pittsburgh is 3-0-2 since a season-worst 0-4-2 streak. The Penguins remain unbeaten in overtime at 6-0-11.

    The Predators are winless in three (0-2-1) and are 3-7-1 in the last 11 games.

    Pittsburgh got a four-minute power play in the first minute of the third period when Tom Fitzgerald cut Jan Hrdina with a high stick and got a double minor.

    Referee Richard Trottier didn't see the play but called the penalty after one of the linesmen madhim aware of the infraction.

    "If they call it right away, you can live with it," Fitzgerald said. "If it takes 35 seconds or a minute and you're sitting on the bench, that's tough to swallow. They got that power play and you just knew they were going to score."

    Lang scored his 20th goal 50 seconds into the period. Jaromir Jagr skated up from the goal line, and slipped a pass past diving defenseman Drake Berehowsky to give Lang an easy tap-in at the side of the net. The Penguins had converted just one of 25 power-play opportunities before that goal.

    Sergei Krivokrasov scored his 22nd for Nashville at 10:14 of the second period. Cliff Ronning got the puck behind the net and made a quick pass to Krivokrasov, who was skating up the slot.

    Vokoun stopped three shots in overtime. His best overtime save came when he denied Rob Brown from 20 feet with just under two minutes left.

    Third-string goalie Jean-Sebastien Aubin made his second consecutive start for the Penguins. No. 1 goalie Tom Barrasso is out with a broken wrist and backup Peter Skudra has a leg injury.

    Jagr stretched his point-scoring streak to six games. He has 11 points in the streak.

    Pittsburgh's Kip Miller left the game in the third period when he was cut near the right eye by Joel Bouchard's stick. Miller did not accompany the team for Sunday's game in New York against the Rangers.

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