Crosby show hits Canada

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:22 AM ET

BUFFALO -- There will be no sign of Super Mario tonight at the Corel Centre.

The good news is Sid The Kid will be in the house.

While Mario Lemieux will stay in Pittsburgh when the Penguins arrive in Ottawa this afternoon, No. 1 pick Sidney Crosby will be on board for tonight's pre-season game against the Senators.

With fewer than 500 tickets remaining for Crosby's debut with the Penguins on Canadian soil, there is plenty of anticipation surrounding tonight's game.

Yes, the Senators would love to have both Penguins superstars in the lineup, but they'll be quite happy that more than 19,000 fans will be in the building to get a glimpse of No. 87.

"With our players knowing that (coach) Bryan (Murray) is still looking at firming up his roster and that (Crosby) is going to be in the Pittsburgh lineup, this should be a really exciting game," Senators president Roy Mlakar said yesterday.

Heck, the Penguins didn't have that many in Pittsburgh for his debut there. A crowd of 12,689 was announced Tuesday night at the Igloo, but a report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette indicated there weren't any more than 8,000 in the building.

"It's pre-season," said Pittsburgh president Ken Sawyer. "You never sell anywhere near as many (tickets) in pre-season. It's opening night. Opening night is what it's all about."

By all accounts, the Penguins have been thrilled with their new acquisition.

"We've seen him play a few games so far and we look forward to a great season from him," said Lemieux.

In addition to Crosby, the Penguins added Sergei Gonchar, Mark Recchi, John LeClair and Lyle Odelein to the roster in the off-season.

BACK HOME: Senators D Wade Redden returned to Ottawa on Tuesday night to be with his ailing mother, Pat. Senators coach Bryan Murray brought Redden on the trip and intended to play him in last night's game, but he wanted to be home and the club made arrangements for his return to Ottawa. D Andrej Meszaros was inserted into the lineup to replace Redden.


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