Too Many Penalties Sink Pens In 3-1 Loss To Devils
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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Adam Henrique and Bobby Butler scored power-play goals during a 2:12 span in the third period, and the New Jersey Devils extended their winning streak to four games with a 3-1 victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday that snapped the Penguins’ five-game winning streak.
Ilya Kovalchuk assisted on the late goals and defenseman Andy Greene had two assists, including the primary one on rookie Stefan Matteau’s first NHL goal, as the Devils avenged a 5-1 loss to the Penguins last week.
Martin Brodeur made 24 saves and provided a little humor by chasing his stick late in the second period of his 1,200th career game. He became the first NHL goalie to play that many.
Brandon Sutter scored early for Pittsburgh, which couldn’t stay out of the penalty box. The teams will play again on Sunday in Pittsburgh.
Butler, signed by the Devils in the offseason after falling out of favor in Ottawa, set up Henrique’s goal with New Jersey on its seventh power play. His shot from the right circle banged off the post and came out to Henrique in the left circle for a shot into an open net with 9:04 to play.
Butler scored his first goal with the Devils a little more than 2 minutes later, ripping a shot from the right circle again.
Matteau tied the game 1-all late in the second with his first career goal. It was easy, thanks in large part to Greene. He faked a shot from the left point and slid a pass to the 18-year-old in the left circle, catching Marc-Andre Fleury out of position. Once Matteau controlled the puck, he had an open net for his first NHL point.
Pittsburgh took an early lead on a power-play goal by Sutter, the son of former Devils coach Brent Sutter. Defenseman Simon Despres took a shot from the left point and Sutter deflected it past Brodeur.
The Penguins had some great chances on a power play late in the second when Brodeur lost his stick for at least 30 seconds. The 40-year-old goalie had to make stops on shots by Sidney Crosby and James Neal, and also had a humorous moment after the Devils cleared the puck from the zone.
As Brodeur skated to the corner to get his stick, Fleury sent a pass off the sideboards to Evgeni Malkin at the blue line. The Penguins sniper quickly turned and fired it at the net as Brodeur scrambled to get back in the crease. The puck hit off the post and then Brodeur’s skate, sliding across the goal line while drawing gasps from the sellout crowd.
There was no need for concern. A Penguins player had not cleared the zone after the clearing pass, so Malkin was offside, meaning the goal would not have counted.
Crosby had a six-game point-scoring streak snapped, his best since a career-long 25-game run in 2010.
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