PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Pittsburgh Penguins are no longer
0-for-2004 at home.
Rookie Andy Chiodo stopped 26 shots, including 17 in the third
period, to make first-period goals by Ric Jackman and Matt Bradley
stand up and the Penguins snapped a 16-game home winless streak
with a 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks on Saturday.
The Penguins, who also endured an 18-game winless streak overall
earlier this season, were 0-15-1 at home since defeating Chicago on
"We played a pretty darn good game against a team that was
desperate, but I expected that kind of desperation from us, too,"
said Chiodo, who has taken over as Pittsburgh's No. 1 goaltender
since being recalled from the minor leagues Feb. 17.
"I don't think anybody made it easy on them tonight."
The loss was a blow to the Ducks, the defending Western
Conference champions who began the night six points out of a
playoff spot. Playing their third game in four nights, they managed
just 10 shots in the first two periods and only two during a
critical four-minute power play early in the third.
"The third period, once again, is just not going to cut it for
you in this league," said Anaheim's Steve Rucchin, whose goal with
9.8 seconds left in the first period was the game's final goal.
"We weren't getting the puck to the net enough. Waiting until the
third period ... it's too late in this league."
Pittsburgh, which set an NHL record by losing 14 consecutive
home games until tying the New York Islanders on Tuesday, barely
avoided another dubious entry in the record book. The longest home
winless streak in NHL history is 17 games, set by Ottawa (0-15-2)
in 1995-96 and matched by Atlanta (0-15-2) in 1999-2000.
"It's awesome, a great feeling, to finally break this home
streak," defenseman Josef Melichar said.
Melichar set up Bradley's game-winning goal on a two-on-one
break at 12:12 after taking the puck from Joffrey Lupul, who fell
at the Pittsburgh blue line.
"It's a game of mistakes," Melichar said. "I made one last
game, and tonight they made one and we got a goal."
The Penguins were coming off an embarrassing 9-4 home loss to
Nashville on Thursday, allowing a team-record six power-play goals.
"We've been pretty good on nights right after we've been either
blown out or taken advantage of," Pittsburgh coach Ed Olczyk said.
"But the energy in the building was phenomenal and I give our fans
a lot of credit. Even during the national anthem our guys were
pretty pumped up."
The crowd of 14,286, the sixth-largest of the season for the
Penguins, was treated to a rare first period as Pittsburgh took its
first 2-0 at home in almost 13 months.
Jackman beat Jean-Sebastien Giguere with a one-timer from the
center point on the power play at 2:24 for his seventh goal, and
Bradley followed with his fifth goal. "Our goal every game is to have a good first period, but it
doesn't always happen," Bradley said. "The first 15 minutes
tonight were the best stretch we've had in a long time. Maybe all
The Ducks, who managed just one shot in the opening 19 minutes
of the first period, cut the lead in half with 9.8 seconds left
when Rucchin converted the rebound of Rob Niedermayer's backhander
for his 18th goal.
"They came out and played very well and they really skated,"
Anaheim coach Mike Babcock said. "Yet, in saying that, I really
thought that we didn't establish any kind of game until the third
period. Here we are in a must-win situation and we didn't handle it
the way you have to."
The Penguins scratched Kelly Buchberger (heel) and Dan
Focht. Anaheim scratched Mike LeClerc (knee) and Garrett Burnett.
... The Penguins had won just one of their previous eight games
against Anaheim. ... Jon Sim, claimed off waivers from Los Angeles
on Friday, made his Pittsburgh debut. ... Rucchin has four goals
and seven points in five games. ... Jackman has five goals and 11
points in 11 games since being acquired from Toronto.