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Crosby doesn't disappoint in Pens' scrimmage

By wire services
Published September 16, 2005


PITTSBURGH - Sidney Crosby needed all of half a period to get his name on the training camp score sheet.

Crosby, the league's No.1 pick who many compare to Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky, had a game-high three assists in leading his team to a 4-1 victory in a scrimmage Thursday.

"I've watched him skate a little in the past week, and I know how good he is," said Lemieux, the team's owner-player who is on Crosby's camp team but did not play in the scrimmage. "But once you step onto the ice and start playing, it can be a little different. But I wasn't surprised with how well he played."

Playing with veterans Mark Recchi and John LeClair, Crosby, 18, had a hand in three goals in his second full day of training camp.

Recchi was the beneficiary of two Crosby assists, the second an example of the vision and instincts that allowed Crosby to accumulate 183 assists in 121 junior games.

"The defensemen went down and got out of position," Crosby said, relating what went through his mind as he had the puck in the right faceoff circle. "So then the goalie had no choice but to play the shot, so I knew Mark had an open shot. I gave him a quick look and got him the puck."

Crosby's pass to set up Jonathan Filewich's second goal might have been even better. Skating down the boards through the neutral zone, Crosby flipped a pass over a defenseman's stick almost directly onto the blade of Filewich, who took advantage of a clear path to the net to beat goalie Sebastien Caron.

AVALANCHE: Colorado agreed to terms with Wojtek Wolski, a forward from Poland and its first-round pick in 2004. In 2003-04, his third season with Brampton of the Ontario Hockey League, he had a team- and career-high 73 points with 29 goals and 44 assists.

BLUE JACKETS: Forward Rick Nash is expected to be out at least two weeks after spraining an ankle during a scrimmage Wednesday. Nash, whose 41 goals in 2003-04 tied for the league lead, went feet first into the boards.

CAPITALS: Alexander Ovechkin, the top overall pick in 2004, will not travel for the first two preseason games, instead debuting at home next week. Ovechkin's place on the team is secure, and coach Glen Hanlon said he wants to get extended looks at other players.

FLYERS: Forward Sami Kapanen needs surgery on his injured right shoulder and is expected to miss 10 weeks. The 32-year-old, who had 12 goals and 30 points in 2003-04, said he was hurt several weeks ago during a scrimmage. The Flyers now have three players sidelined. Center Peter Forsberg is out for about two weeks after surgery to remove an infected bursa sac in his ankle, and defenseman Derian Hatcher is recovering from a slightly sprained knee.