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Alexei Kovalev and Mario Lemieux didn't think they would see anything offensively to rival the highest-scoring NHL All-Star game ever.

Three days later, they almost did. Halfway through their dominating 9-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins actually were ahead of North America's 14-goal pace in Sunday's 26-goal All-Star game.

Kovalev had three goals and two assists in a career-high five-point game, and Jaromir Jagr had two goals and two assists. Lemieux had a goal and an assist, as he did Sunday.

The one big difference: Unlike in the All-Star game, the Flyers were trying to play defense.

"We had a lot of jump and a lot of energy, and we were skating real well," said Kovalev, who scored quickly to start each of the first two periods.

Philadelphia's Kent Manderville ended a 122-game streak without a goal by scoring short-handed to make it 3-2, his first goal since the 1999-2000 season opener. "It was a relief," Manderville said.

Not for long. The Pens scored three times in about six minutes. Then, after Flyers coach Bill Barber pulled All-Star goalie Roman Cechmanek with Pittsburgh up 6-3, Lemieux and Martin Straka scored on two of the first three shots Brian Boucher faced.

"Like All-Star," the Czech native said, referring to the six goals scored against him in Sunday's All-Star Game. "This game was no good for the whole team."

"Our snipers were sniping," defenseman Bob Boughner said.

There also was some sniping among the Flyers. After the Penguins' initial three-goal flurry, Cechmanek blew up on the bench, apparently because the Penguins were getting so many unguarded scoring chances.

"He came to the bench and he snapped," Primeau said. ""We couldn't understand a word he said."

English or Czech?

"Maybe English," Cechmanek said with a laugh.

Caps toss off Avs

DENVER -- Patrick Roy put on a spontaneous display of arm strength, but don't expect to see the Hockey Stick Heave become part of the NHL SuperSkills competition.

Angered by his gaffe that led to a critical goal, the Colorado Avalanche goalie threw his stick more than 100 feet down the ice during a 3-1 loss to the Washington Capitals.

The stick stopped near the opposing blue line, within several feet of Roy's former backup, Craig Billington, who couldn't help but smile as he and the Caps frustrated the NHL's top team.

"I wish he had signed it before he threw it," he said. "I would have kept it."

Billington made his first start since Jan. 1.

"Emotions were high and playing against my mentor . . . it was exhilarating," he said.

Jeff Halpern gave the Capitals a two-goal lead at 11:02 when Roy strayed from the crease to play the puck along the boards. Halpern intercepted and fired a shot into an open net.

Canucks get goalie

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- The Vancouver Canucks' search for a goaltender landed them Tampa Bay's Dan Cloutier.

Vancouver acquired the 24-year-old goaltender from the Lightning in exchange for defenseman Adrian Aucoin and a second-round draft pick.

In 24 games with the Lightning, Cloutier has a 3-13-3 record with a 3.52 goals against average.

General Manager Brian Burke said he would give deplaced starter Felix Potvin the option of reporting to minor-league Kansas City for a two-week conditioning stint or being placed on waivers.

Around the rinks

The Maple Leafs celebrated the 25th anniversary of Darryl Sittler's NHL-record 10-point game with a 7-1 victory over the Thrashers as Gary Roberts scored twice. Before the game, Sittler was honored for his six-goal, four-assist performance against Boston on Feb. 7, 1976. . . . Mike Sillinger's third-period goal lifted the Panthers over the Wild, 2-1, extending Florida's home unbeaten streak to five (4-0-0-1). . . . Derian Hatcher scored the tie-breaking goal on a power play with 8:20 remaining as the Stars beat the Oilers, 3-2, their 11th straight victory over Edmonton at Reunion Arena. John MacLean, acquired from the Rangers on Monday, scored a first-period goal. . . . Jeff O'Neill scored his team-leading 28th goal 25 seconds into overtime as the Hurricanes defeated the Coyotes, 2-1. . . . Steve Sullivan scored his seventh goal in six games to put the Blackhawks ahead and Eric Daze connected 74 seconds later as Chicago beat the Mighty Ducks, 3-2.

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