Pens win without Jagr

Archived from 1998-99 season.

1999 Playoffs

New Jersey series


New Jersey

The Pittsburgh Penguins entered the game without Jaromir Jagr, who was sidelined with a groin injury, but it hardly mattered as they beat the New Jersey Devils 4-1 to even the playoff series one game apiece.

"After the last game it was hurt," said Jagr. "It's just a muscle. If I could play a little, I would have played today. They (the team) played excellent. Hopefully, they'll play the same way tomorrow whether I come back or not."

The Penguins showed up with a lot more emotion than in Game 1. Playing without their top-scorer Jagr, Pittsburgh responded with an inspired defensive effort.

"This isn't the first time in sports that a team stepped up to replace a star," said Penguins coach Kevin Constantine. "I think it's something the team realized as late as last night, so they had a night to think about it. But to win in this league, you have to win as a team. But there are some nights when your star can win a game by himself."

Nevertheless, the Penguins would like to see Jagr back in lineup for Game 3 on Sunday in Pittsburgh.

"We need him back and we need him as soon as we can," said Kip Miller. "But we need him healthy. You don't want him to get hurt worse."

Alexei Kovalev, who missed Game One with a wrist injury, and Martin Straka each had a goal and an assist and Alexei Morozov and Greg Andrusak each scored for Pittsburgh.

"My legs felt a little heavy in the first period," said Kovalev. "We have to turn their defensemen around like we did today. "We had a good game the first time, we just couldn't score."

Despite of outshooting their opponent 29-17 the Devils only averted a shutout when Dave Andreychuk scored with 8:19 to play.

"I can't explain the letdown," said New Jersey's Scott Niedermayer. "We have to go right back at it and we're ready to go back at it again. We had a nice talk after the second period. We've been in this situation many times before."

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