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Pens rip Panthers in Lightning tuneup

Mario Lemieux had two goals and an assist, and Johan Hedberg stopped 41 shots in his first career start as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Florida Panthers 6-3 Friday night.

Pavel Bure also had a pair of goals, increasing his league-leading total to 51, but the Panthers continued to struggle on defense. They have given up 44 goals in 11 games.

With the score tied at 3 in the third period, Pittsburgh scored twice in 30 seconds. Josef Beranek notched his ninth goal and Alexei Kovalev his 41st. Jaromir Jagr's 43rd made it 6-3 with less than five minutes left.

But the story was Hedberg, acquired at the trading deadline along with Bobby Dollas from San Jose. He stopped Bure twice on breakaways and helped keep the Panthers scoreless on eight power plays.

Lemieux put the Penguins on the board first with a power-play goal at 8:17 of the first. He stopped a pass from Jagr with his right skate and poked the rebound past a diving Roberto Luongo.

It was Lemieux's fifth power-play goal in the past eight games.

Bure evened the score with a spectacular breakaway goal about two minutes later. He waited until Hedberg committed to his left, then slipped the puck between his legs.

Bure, known for his fierce fist pumps after goals, celebrated a little more than usual. After No. 50, Bure jumped up and down repeatedly as teammates mobbed him.

Florida's Peter Worrell left in the first with a shoulder injury. He did not return.

Pittsburgh plays the Lightning at the Ice Palace tonight.

BLUE JACKETS: Leading scorer Geoff Sanderson (sprained knee) will be out two weeks. Martin Spanhel was called up from the AHL's Syracuse Crunch to replace him.

CANUCKS: Defenseman Jason Strudwick (sprained knee), who has missed nine games, could return within a week.

STARS: Wing Jamie Langenbrunner (abdominal strain) should rejoin the team in the next few days.

Drug-testing deal reached

CALGARY _ A tentative agreement was reached in the dispute over drug-testing procedures for NHL players competing in the 2002 Olympics.

The NHL, the union and the International Ice Hockey Federation agreed to allow the World Anti-Doping Agency to conduct random drug testing among all Olympic hockey players once they are chosen. The NHLPA victory comes in that the tests won't come before the playoffs are over. It viewed the tests as a distraction.