Mario Lemieux is back on his feet, and so are the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"It's great having him back.People don't know how tough he is," Kevin Stevens said after his celebrated teammate gave the Penguins an emotional lift and a goal in their 5-3 victory over the Minnesota North Stars Tuesday night.

Lemieux had been a question mark right up until gametime because of a back problem, but became a big exclamation point with some rugged physical play as the Penguins evened the Stanley Cup finals at two games apiece.

"I felt great today," Lemieux said when asked about his troubled back that had kept him out of Game 3 Sunday night. "I was a little scared that it would flare up again tonight, but it didn't and it feels great."

Lemieux sat on the sidelines Sunday with back spasms similar to the kind that disabled him in the seventh game of the first-round New Jersey series. He spent the day resting Monday, and said he wasn't bothered about all the media hype.

"My focus was on getting healthy," he said.