Mark Recchi's third stay with the Pittsburgh Penguins is apparently over.

Recchi, who played on the Penguins' first Stanley Cup-winning team in 1991 and rejoined them in 2004 and 2006, was placed on waivers yesterday and is eligible to be claimed by any NHL team.

A day after he was scratched for a sixth consecutive game, Recchi did not accompany the Penguins to Edmonton for the start of a weeklong road trip.

If the 39-year-old right wing is not claimed, the Penguins are expected to negotiate a buyout of his $1.75 million contract.

Recchi, who has never gotten going offensively this season, has been scratched for seven of the last eight games. He has two goals and six assists in 19 games with a minus-2 rating. He has only one goal since the Penguins' season opener.

Even if Recchi does not play for them again, the Penguins want to avoid the messy separation they had with veteran forward John LeClair a season ago. LeClair was waived, declined an assignment to the minors and was eligible for suspension until, after a 2-week process, the two sides worked out a contract settlement.

Recchi, who lives in Pittsburgh during the offseason, re-signed with the Penguins before the 2004-05 lockout season. He had 24 goals in 63 Penguins games during the 2005-06 season before being dealt to Carolina, where he had four goals in 20 games while helping the Hurricanes win the Stanley Cup.

He signed again with the Penguins last year and played well for most of the season, scoring 22 goals in the first 59 games. But he slumped down the stretch.

Despite that late-season slump, the Penguins chose to bring back both Recchi and 41-year-old forward Gary Roberts to a mostly young team that seemed primed to be a Stanley Cup contender this season.

Recchi was waived only a day after the Penguins recognized his 500th goal, scored last season, with a bobblehead doll giveaway at their Monday night home game against Phoenix. Recchi has 510 goals in 1,357 NHL games with the Penguins, Flyers, Canadiens and Hurricanes.

In games last night:

* At Toronto, Wade Belak scored his first goal since Dec. 20, 2003, and Vesa Toskala stopped 34 shots to help the Maple Leafs beat the Nashville Predators, 3-1.

* At Tampa, Fla., Vinny Prospal scored in the fourth round of a shootout and the Tampa Bay Lightning extended Ottawa's losing streak to seven games with a 4-3 victory over the Senators.

* At Montreal, Pavel Datsyuk scored two unassisted goals off turnovers to lead Detroit to a 4-1 win over the Canadiens.

* At Calgary, Dustin Boyd's first goal of the season broke a tie in the second period and sent the Flames to a 3-1 win over St. Louis. *