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Mario marks anniversary with Penguins

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Penguins selecting Mario Lemieux with the first overall pick at the 1984 NHL draft.

Lemieux played all 17 of his seasons with the Penguins and is their all-time leader in goals (690), assists (1,033) and points (1,723). He won three Hart trophies as MVP and six Art Ross trophies as league scoring leader. He also captained the lone Cup teams in club history (1991-92).

Lemieux has been a majority co-owner of the Penguins since 1999, when a group led by him and California billionaire Ron Burkle bought them out of bankruptcy.

Surprise, surprise

Penguins LW Matt Cooke on his club's six second-period penalties Saturday in a 5-0 loss at Detroit: "I was surprised. I didn't expect it, but ... I'm happy it's out of our system. There was a frustration level. We felt like the first 10 minutes we were all over them and just couldn't score. That was the first real time that's happened to us in these playoffs, where we've been that dominant in a span and not at least scored a goal."

White might

The Penguins are calling for another whiteout tonight at Mellon Arena for Game 6. Fans will receive a white t-shirt and rally towel, the latter courtesy of Trib Total Media. The t-shirts are provided by Esmark and Diehl Automotive Group. The Penguins are 4-2 this postseason in whiteout situations, including three consecutive wins.

Early opening

Gates will open early tonight, at 6:15 p.m. Regular anthem singer Jeff Jimerson's band Airborn will provide pregame entertainment starting at 5:30 p.m. outside Gate 3. The game will not be shown on the outside video board; NBC has not permitted broadcasts of its games on the outdoor screen throughout the playoffs.

Party crashers

The Red Wings have clinched two of their four titles since 1997 on the road, where they are 8-3 in the Final over that span. Those three losses all have come at Mellon Arena, where the Red Wings are 2-3 over the past two Final series, including 0-2 this year.

Last word

Red Wings G Chris Osgood on respect that figures to come his way if he wins a third Cup title as starting goalie: "It will come one day. Guys know what I can do. That's what means most to me."


"This is a tough one. Getting this close and not winning the Cup. But I know it will make our team even stronger. ... I never want to be in this photograph again." — Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, from an NHL commercial in which he steps out from a photo of him and teammates watching the Red Wings celebrate winning the Stanley Cup at Mellon Arena last year


5 — Rank of Dan Bylsma among Penguins coaches in postseason wins. Bylsma can tie his predecessor Michel Therrien with a victory tonight in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, and will pull even with "Badger" Bob Johnson if the Penguins win the Cup. The all-time list is topped by Scotty Bowman, whose 23 wins are one more than Ed Johnston's 22.

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