NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at New Jersey
(Saturday, March 17th)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 5, New Jersey 2
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Matt Cooke tallied twice and Sidney Crosby added three assists for Pittsburgh as the Penguins won their NHL season-high 11th straight game with a 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils.
Evgeni Malkin, James Neal and Pascal Dupuis also lit the lamp for the Penguins, who are in the midst of their longest winning streak since November 17-December 11 of last year, when they won 12 consecutive contests. The NHL record for most games won in a row is 17, set by Pittsburgh during the 1992-93 season.
The Penguins are two points shy of the Eastern-Conference leading New York Rangers, who lost to the Avalanche on Saturday.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 12 shots in the win.
"This was the first game we really felt like we played a fast game," Cooke said. "That's something we ant to stay on too. We're not content here, that's for sure. We want to keep getting better."
Andy Greene and Petr Sykora scored for New Jersey, which has lost two of its last three games after a four-game winning streak.
Martin Brodeur allowed five goals on 44 shots in the loss.
"It's definitely deflating, especially in a big game like that," Brodeur said. "When they make good plays, you've got to respond. We didn't."
The Penguins took control of the contest in the second period, netting three tallies in a 2:32 span midway through the stanza.
From his own zone, Matt Niskanen's stretch pass hit a streaking Jordan Staal in stride up the left wing. He left a drop pass for Dupuis, who ripped the net with a slap shot from the top of the circle, making it 2-1 at the 10:10 mark.
Crosby assisted on the next two goals.
He found Cooke in the slot with a backhander that Cooke tipped home at 11:44. Crosby then fed Malkin for a power-play tally 58 seconds later.
Crosby shielded a defender along the left wing boards and spotted Malkin in the right circle. Crosby's cross-ice pass hit Malkin and his one-timer beat Brodeur on the short side.
It was the first power-play goal that New Jersey's allowed in its last 10 games.
Sykora's wrister off the rebound made it 4-2 early in the third, but the Penguins reestablished their three-goal margin on Cooke's backhander at the 5:56 mark.
After Chris Kunitz was unsuccessful with a penalty shot, Neal opened the scoring for Pittsburgh just four seconds later with a slap shot off a faceoff win from the left circle at 1:59 of the first.
The Devils knotted the game at one later in the period . Ilya Kovalchuk skated up the left wing and left a drop pass for a trailing Greene. From the circle, Greene rifled a wrister earmarked for the top right corner.
Pittsburgh, which held a 14-2 advantage in shots midway through the period, didn't register another one for the final 9:14 of the frame.
New Jersey's franchise record for not allowing a power-play goal is 11 games (Dec. 16, 2000-Jan. 10, 2001)...Staal has 13 points during his current 10-game point streak...The Penguins are outscoring their opponents, 43-17, in regulation during their winning streak.
03/17 21:42:54 ET