Pens Improve to 7-0, Bottle Lightning 6-3

By The | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), February 5, 1995 | Go to article overview

Pens Improve to 7-0, Bottle Lightning 6-3


The, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


If the Pittsburgh Penguins are getting overconfident now that they've matched the best start in their history, they only need remember the last time they were 7-0.

Tomas Sandstrom had two goals and two assists and John Cullen added two goals as the Penguins remained the National Hockey League's only unbeaten team with a 6-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

The only other 7-0 start in the Penguins' 28-year history was in 1986-87, when they finished 30-38-12 and didn't make the playoffs. Of course, that was a regulation season, not one cut nearly in half by a long labor dispute.

The Toronto Maple Leafs set the NHL record with a 10-0 start last season.

"We said that a quick start was important and we won't regret these (14) points at the end," Luc Robitaille said. "We've got to keep playing as a team because we've got a lot of guys going right now."

They include Sandstrom and Cullen, who never got going last season. Sandstrom already has four goals, two fewer than he scored in 33 regular-season and playoff games with Pittsburgh last year. Cullen had only 13 goals in 53 games for Toronto.

"It was a brutal year for me," said Sandstrom, who twice started Pittsburgh on a pair of three-goal periods. "I moved in the middle of the season, and it was really tough on me and my family. It messed up the whole season."

Coach Eddie Johnston said a big season from Sandstrom was essential if the Penguins were to compensate for Mario Lemieux's lost production. Lemieux is sitting out the season for medical reasons.

Sandstrom got Pittsburgh going after a scoreless first period, one-timing Martin Straka's cross-ice pass by backup goaltender J.C. Bergeron at 3 minutes 18 seconds of the second. Bergeron is 0-2 and has allowed 11 goals in his two starts.

Sandstrom, who stayed in shape during the NHL lockout by playing in his native Finland, then assisted on goals by Jaromir Jagr and Cullen in a 1:39 span after John Tucker's fourth of the season for Tampa Bay. …

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