Final Score: New Jersey 3, Pittsburgh 2
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Ilya Kovalchuk scored the game-winning goal
with 6:10 left as the New Jersey Devils edged the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-2,
Travis Zajac and David Clarkson also scored for the Devils, winners in four of
their last five contests. Johan Hedberg made 16 saves in the win.
"I don't think they were that desperate tonight. They were trying, but they
weren't on top of their game," Kovalchuk said. "Still, we worked hard, and it
was a good game overall."
Matt Cooke and Jussi Jokinen both tallied for the Penguins, who have already
secured the top seed in the upcoming Eastern Conference playoffs. Marc-Andre
Fleury made 29 stops in the loss.
Cooke scored 8:52 into the first period to give the Penguins a 1-0 edge.
Hedberg stoned a Brenden Morrow shot from the left circle, and turned away
Cooke's initial try on a rebound, but Cooke was able to get his second attempt
to light the lamp.
Jokinen's tally with 5:59 left in the middle session put Pittsburgh up
by two, but the Devils would counter with three unanswered goals.
Zajac beat Fleury with a snap shot in front with 1:27 left in the second.
Patrik Elias found Zajac in the left circle. Zajac then skated to the middle
of the ice before firing his seventh goal of the season.
Clarkson's power-play goal tied the game just over three minutes into
the final frame.
On a 3-on-2 break, Steve Sullivan found Kovalchuk streaking down the right
side. Kovalchuk took the pass and ripped a wrister past Fleury for the game-
"We have to start playing now. How we're playing now is going to determine how
we're playing in the playoffs," Penguins center Brandon Sutter said.
Elias had two assists to push his total for the season to 22 ... The Devils
have missed the playoffs twice over the past three seasons ... The Penguins
will close the season against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.
04/26 02:56:26 ET
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