PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — The Penguins moved closer to earning home ice advantage in at least the first round of the playoffs with a 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils Tuesday night.
It was the last regular season game at the CONSOL Energy Center and Fan Appreciation Night.
Jordan Staal picked up the first goal for the Pens by chipping a shot over a sprawling Johan Hedberg. Staal had a step on the Devils’ defense because of a great pass by James Neal. Alex Kovalev picked up the secondary assist on the power play goal.
David Steckel tied it 1-1 with 4:52 left in the second, but Pascal Dupuis netted his first of two goals for the night just over a minute later.
In the third, Chris Kunitz scored a backhander on Hedberg at 1:31 for a 3-1 lead, which would prove to be the eventual game-winning goal.
Brian Rolston fired a snap shot from the high slot three minutes later to make it 3-2. Then, Dupuis put the game away with a shorthanded goal with 1:01 left on the clock.
Hedberg was on his way to the bench as Dupuis gained control of the puck at the Penguins’ blue line and fired the puck at the Devils’ net. Hedberg scrambled to get back to make the save, but was too late in his efforts.
Marc-Andre Fleury had 22 saves.
Pittsburgh has 102 points, one less than Atlantic Division-leading Philadelphia, which lost 5-2 at Ottawa on Tuesday.
The Penguins remained three points behind conference-leading Washington, which won 3-2 in a shootout at Toronto.
With Tampa Bay’s 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres, the Penguins are now three points ahead of the Lightning for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.