PITTSBURGH (AP) – Stephen Weiss’ slap shot from the right faceoff dot eluded Pittsburgh goalie Jocelyn Thibault on a power play 53 seconds into overtime and the Florida Panthers ran the Penguins’ season-long winless streak to nine games by winning 4-3 Tuesday night.

The Penguins led 3-2 following goals by Dick Tarnstrom and Lasse Pirjeta in the third period, but the Panthers tied it on Lukas Krajicek’s power-play goal with 2 minutes remaining in regulation as he steered in Kristian Huselius’ shot from center point.

Penguins owner-captain Mario Lemieux then drew a disputed interference penalty in the final 17 seconds of the period that carried into the overtime, and Weiss took advantage of it to score his first of the season. An agitated Lemieux yelled at referees Stephane Auger and Dan O’Halloran as he left the ice.

Pittsburgh is 0-4-5, the longest season-opening stretch in its 39-season history without winning, and it has dropped its last 10 against Florida dating to the 2001-02 season. The Penguins have been the NHL’s only winless team for a week and a half, and every other team had at least two victories before Tuesday.

The Penguins lost despite having a 12-7 advantage in power plays, mostly because 18-year-old star Sidney Crosby drew six penalties by himself. But Pittsburgh was only 2-of-12 with the man advantage, while Florida was 2-of-7.

Crosby assisted on Ryan Malone’s power-play goal in the first period, his 10th assist in nine games, yet the Penguins trailed 2-1 despite owning a 10-minute advantage in power-play time in that period alone.

Nathan Horton and Martin Gelinas scored in the first for the Panthers, and the lead held up until Pirjeta tied it with his first shot of the game – he played fewer than two minutes in the first two periods – early in the third period.

Crosby then drew Jay Bouwmeester’s hooking penalty several minutes later, and Tarnstrom scored 22 seconds later to put the Penguins up 3-2.

The Panthers, playing the first game of what now becomes a six-game road trip, got 38 saves from goalie Roberto Luongo. Thibault made 30 saves after bringing an 0-3 record and 6.30 goals-against average into the game.

The Panthers were supposed to play Washington at home Saturday, but the game was postponed Tuesday because power has not been restored at their arena following Hurricane Wilma. The Panthers flew to Pittsburgh one day early because of the hurricane and admittedly were distracted during practice Monday as players worried about their families left behind in South Florida.

Notes: Florida is 2-3 on the road. … The Penguins are 0-4-3 when trailing after two periods. … Pittsburgh had never previously gone longer than the seventh game of a season before winning. … Pittsburgh has lost its last five at home to Florida. … Penguins F Andre Roy will miss at least two weeks with a broken orbital bone. He was injured Saturday at Boston.


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