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Pens try to build on recent showing against Devils
(SportsNetwork.com) - On Friday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins surpassed their goal total from the previous three games combined, snapping their second three-game slide of the season.
The Penguins hope their offense can stay hot on Saturday when they visit a New Jersey Devils club coming off a shutout setback.
Held to just a single goal in each of their previous three losses, the Penguins got goals from four different skaters in a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators last night. That was more than enough for Marc-Andre Fleury, who made 17 saves.
Brandon Sutter and James Neal both posted a goal and an assist, while Pascal Dupuis and Kris Letang added goals. Neal's goal was his first of the season and he has three points in three games since missing 15 straight contests with an upper-body injury suffered in the season-opener on Oct. 3 versus New Jersey.
Evgeni Malkin saw his goal-scoring drought reach 12 games, but he had two assists. The forward has logged a helper in six straight games, with eight in that span.
"(Malkin) made a good play on the power play there to shoot for my stick," Neal said. "Ever since I've got back, I've felt pretty good. We're just going to continue to get better here."
Sidney Crosby added an assist to the win, his league-leading 25th point of the season.
The Penguins now visit a Devils club that has been shut out five times this season, with three of those coming in the past seven tilts.
New Jersey got 19 saves from Cory Schneider on Friday night versus the Los Angeles Kings, but dropped a 2-0 decision. The Devils had won three of four coming in.
"It's not fun to lose," said Schneider, who fell to 1-5-3 in nine starts this season despite a 1.98 goals against average. "I want to be the guy that helps this team win and contributes in the win column."
New Jersey forward Patrik Elias was activated off injured reserve prior to the game and logged just under 16 minutes of ice time, while defenseman Anton Volchenkov was out with a lower-body injury.
Martin Brodeur is in line to get the start tonight for the Devils. His NHL- record streak of 18 straight starts in season openers came to an end in a 3-0 loss to the Penguins on Oct. 3. Schneider made 18 saves in his Devils debut that night, while Fleury posted a 27-save shutout.
Brodeur split two starts against Pittsburgh last season and is 46-28-1 with four ties and nine shutouts in 82 career meetings, posting a 2.49 GAA.
It is unknown if Fleury will get the call on consecutive nights or if rookie Jeff Zatkoff will make his fourth career start. Fleury is 16-20-4 in 40 career games versus New Jersey, notching a 2.50 GAA and four shutouts.
Pittsburgh's season-opening win snapped a three-game slide to New Jersey, but the Pens have still lost six of seven and 10 of their last 12 trips to the Garden State.
11/16 10:47:42 ET