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(Saturday, February 9th)
Final Score: New Jersey 3, Pittsburgh 1
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Adam Henrique and Bobby Butler each netted a power-play goal in the third period to lift the New Jersey Devils over the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-1, in the opener of a home-and-home set at Prudential Center.
Stefan Matteau also lit the lamp, while Ilya Kovalchuk and Andy Greene added two assists apiece for the Devils, who have won four straight. Martin Brodeur stopped 24 shots.
"It was a full team effort. The power play came through with a couple big goals in the third," Henrique said. "We have got to keep this momentum going."
Brandon Sutter supplied the offense for Pittsburgh, which saw its five-game win streak come to an end.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves in defeat.
Pittsburgh opened the scoring just 1:23 into the game while on a power play when Simon Despres let go of a one-timer from the left point that Sutter redirected past Brodeur from in front.
The Devils would fail to net the equalizer during five power-play opportunities over the first and second periods before Matteau tied the game with 3:29 left in the middle stanza after he received a pass from Greene to the right of the net and lifted a shot over a prone Fleury.
New Jersey was finally able to take advantage of a man advantage to jump on top at the 10:56 mark of the third period as Butler's wrister from the top of the right circle caromed off the right post to Henrique in the left circle, where he fired the rebound into the open net.
Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin was then whistled for tripping just 19 seconds later and the Devils took advantage with Butler's wrister from the right circle that sailed through a crowd and inside the far post for a 3-1 lead with 6:52 to play.
The Penguins were called for three more penalties during the remainder of the game to deny them any chance of a comeback.
"We weren't able to turn this into a 5-on-5 game," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said about his team's penalties. "We weren't able to get into any kind of flow of the game or get into the offensive zone against their team."
Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby had his six-game points streak ended ... New Jersey went 2-for-10 on the power play ... The Penguins were 1-for-6 with the man advantage ... These teams will meet again Sunday in Pittsburgh.
02/09 18:01:07 ET