The Pittsburgh Penguins (8-4-0, 16 pts) winning streak has snapped at five games, losing to the New Jersey Devils (7-1-3, 17 pts) 3-1 on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Devils move into first place in the Atlantic Division.
Pittsburgh scored a 1:23 into the game on the power play as Brandon Sutter (3) deflected a Simon Despres shot from the point past Martin Brodeur to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.
Sutter’s power play tally would be all the Penguins would get by the Devils and Brodeur, as New Jersey played a strong defensive game and the Penguins failed to get into any offensive rhythm.
Stefan Matteau (1) scored his first career goal at 16:31 of the second period to tie the game at 1-1. Brandon Sutter lost a defensive zone faceoff and the Penguins had a communication breakdown as four players were caught up high, leaving Matteau all alone in front.
The Devils would pull ahead in the third period getting power goals from Adam Henrique (4) and Bobby Butler (1) in a 2:12 span to take a commanding 3-1 lead with 9:04 left in the third.
Marty Brodeur made 25 saves to record the win. Marc Andre Fleury had saves on 28 shots, recording his third loss of the season.
Sidney Crosby’s points streak ends at six games after being pointless in the loss. Brandon Sutter extended his points streak to five games.
PLAYING WITH FIRE
The Penguins got away with taking seven penalties against the New York Islanders on Tuesday night, killing all seven, but that wasn’t the case today where for the second time in three games, the opposition had seven or more power plays. The Devils overall had 10 power plays and the Penguins killed off the Devils first five power play opportunities, but the Penguins were playing with fire in a tied game.
New Jersey would score on their 6th and 7th power play opportunities, getting power play goals from Adam Henrique (4) and Bobby Butler (1) in a 2:12 span to take a 3-1 lead.
The Penguins had a few questionable calls against them but were extremely undisciplined and unraveled in the final seven minutes taking four penalties in the final nine minutes of the game, which killed any chance of a comeback.
New Jersey was 2 of 10 on the power play in the win.
DEVILS GET TO THEIR GAME
It should have been expected that the Penguins would see a different Devils team and that’s exactly what happened this afternoon. In a tight game, the Devils limited the Penguins scoring chances and the Penguins failed to get pucks deep and beat them for winnable pucks.
This was a classic Devils game as they kept things tight then made the Penguins pay for their mistakes (undisciplined play) putting Pittsburgh away with two power play goals.
QUICK STRIKE POWER PLAY
The Penguins have power play goals in four straight games and what we’re seeing is a quick strike ability on the man-advantage.
vs Capitals 2/3/13: Wojtek Wolski penalty at 13:10 of the second period | Chris Kunitz power play goal at 13:59 of the period – 49 seconds
vs Islanders 2/5/13: Marty Reasoner penalty at 2:52 of first period | James Neal power play goal at 2:58 of the first period – 6 seconds
vs Capitals 2/7/13: Karl Alzner penalty at 6:49 of second period | Evgeni Malkin power play goal at 6:59 of the second period – 10 seconds
vs Devils 2/9/13: David Clarkson penalty at 0:44 of first period | Brandon Sutter power play goal at 1:23 of the first period – 39 seconds