Give Mario Lemieux the puck and he produces. Give him a showcase and he shines.
Lemieux, who spent his first six seasons watching inferior players sip Stanley Cup champagne, made brilliant plays to score and to set up Kevin Stevens' first of two goals Friday night as the Pittsburgh Penguins evened the championship series with a 4-1 victory over the Minnesota North Stars.The Penguins must win in Minnesota to regain the home-ice advantage in the best-of-7 series. Games 3 and 4 are Sunday and Tuesday at Met Center, where the North Stars are 19-2-2 since Jan. 17, including seven straight playoff victories.
The North Stars won Game 1 in each of their four series but are 0-4 - and have been outscored 21-7 - in the second games. Minnesota has outscored opponents 32-18 in the first periods of its 19 playoff games but has been outscored 8-3 in the opening periods of its four Game 2 losses.