(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils cooled off the Penguins in the opener
of a home-and-home series, but Pittsburgh will get a shot at revenge when they
host the finale Sunday at CONSOL Energy Center.
The Devils posted a 3-1 home win over the Penguins on Saturday, ending
Pittsburgh's winning streak at five games while extending their own run to
four wins in a row.
The regulation victory also allowed New Jersey to leap past the Pens into
first place in the Atlantic Division and the Devils hold a one-point edge over
Pittsburgh for that distinction.
The score was tied at 1-1 heading into the third period, but Adam Henrique and
Bobby Butler each netted a power-play goal in the final 20 minutes to lift New
Jersey to victory at Prudential Center.
"It was a full team effort. The power play came through with a couple big
goals in the third," Henrique said. "We have got to keep this momentum going."
Stefan Matteau also lit the lamp, while Ilya Kovalchuk and Andy Greene added
two assists apiece for the Devils.
Martin Brodeur stopped 24 shots for the win. It was the 1,2000th career game
for the future Hall of Fame netminder. Brodeur's backup, Johan Hedberg, will
get the start on Sunday.
New Jersey played without winger Dainius Zubrus (lower body) for the second
straight game on Saturday and he is expected to miss Sunday's contest as well.
The Devils ended a three-game losing streak in this series, picking up their
first win over the Penguins since February 5 of last season. Pittsburgh has
six wins in the last 10 meetings between the clubs and New Jersey has lost two
straight and six of its past seven trips to the Steel City.
Brandon Sutter had the only goal for Pittsburgh on Saturday, as the team lost
for the first time since a 4-1 setback to the visiting New York Islanders on
Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves for the Penguins, who killed off 8-of-10 New
Jersey power plays in the loss.
"We weren't able to turn this into a 5-on-5 game," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma
said about his team's penalties. "We weren't able to get into any kind of flow
of the game or get into the offensive zone against their team."
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin both saw point streaks come to an end on
Saturday. Crosby had two goals and 12 points over a six-game point streak,
while Malkin logged nine points during a five-gamer.
Penguins defenseman Kris Letang has missed the last two games with a lower
body injury and didn't make the trip to New Jersey on Saturday. He is
not expected to play in Sunday's game.
With Letang sidelined, the Penguins announced Sunday that defensive prospect
Joe Morrow had been recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey
The 20-year-old Morrow, a first-round pick (23rd overall) in the 2011 NHL
draft, could make his NHL debut on Sunday. He had two goals and eight assists
in 39 games with the AHL club this season.
Pittsburgh is 2-2-0 as the host this season and has won its last two games at
CONSOL Energy Center.
The Sports Network