NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at New Jersey
(Wednesday, January 7th)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 4, New Jersey 2
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Jean-Sebastien Aubin made 31 saves, including 14 in the third period, to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils at the Meadowlands.
The Penguins scored the first three goals of the game, then held on to snap a four-game losing streak. Pittsburgh won for just the second time in 11 games (2-7-1-1) and became the last team in the NHL to reach 10 wins.
"We needed any type of win," said Penguins head coach Ed Olczyk. "When you play as hard as you can against the defending Stanley Cup champions, it makes it that much better."
Mike Eastwood and Eric Meloche each notched a goal and an assist in the victory, while Matt Bradley and Ryan Malone also found the back of the net. Pittsburgh had scored just four goals during its four-game losing streak.
The Penguins also won on the road for the first time since November 14 at Buffalo, ending an 0-7-1-3 skid.
Scott Niedermayer and Patrik Elias scored for the Devils, who are just 1-3-1 in their last five. Niedermayer actually scored twice, beating his own netminder, Martin Brodeur, who made 17 saves in defeat.
The Penguins grabbed a 1-0 lead midway through the opening period on Eastwood's second goal of the season. He picked up the puck from Marc Bergevin at center ice, skated from the left boards to the top of the slot and snapped a wrister past Brodeur on the stick side.
Bradley was then credited with his second goal with only 18 seconds left in the period. Niedermayer tried to play the puck behind his own net, but instead backhanded it on goal. Brodeur was hugging the post, but the puck went off his goal stick and snuck behind him to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead.
"I was trying to clear it hard behind the net," said Niedermayer. "I gripped the stick a little too tight and I pulled into Marty."
Pittsburgh cashed in a power play at 7:58 of the second period for a three- goal margin. Dick Tarnstrom had a shot from the right circle ring off the post and Malone was in the crease to knock the rebound home for his ninth goal.
The Devils finally answered on a power play with 4:18 remaining in the stanza, as Niedermayer snuck in from the point, took a feed from Sergei Brylin and beat Aubin with a shot from the left side of the crease for his eighth goal.
New Jersey pulled within one just 2:39 into the third on Elias' 13th goal. Turner Stevenson dug the puck off the boards near the Pittsburgh blue line and Scott Gomez picked it up as the Devils entered the zone with a 3-on-2. Gomez quickly fed it across to the top of the right circle for Elias, who blasted a one-timer past Aubin.
The Devils continued to pressure the Penguin net, but could not beat Aubin again. New Jersey pulled Brodeur for an extra attacker in the final minute and Erik Rasmussen had a golden chance to tie the game with a shot from below the left circle, but Aubin made a diving glove save to keep Pittsburgh in front with 33.6 seconds remaining.
"I tried to cut off the pass but I missed it," said Aubin, who hadn't won since January 25, 2003 against Chicago. "I got to the other side as quickly as I could. He was there. I was there and I came up with it."
The Penguins then sealed it moments later when Meloche scored into an empty net.
Pittsburgh also became the last team to win a game within its own division, improving to 1-8-3-1...The Devils had won the first three meetings this season and five straight dating back to last year...Gomez notched his 200th career assist...Eastwood scored for the first time since October 29 against the New York Islanders -- a span of 32 games...Elias has goals in three straight games.
01/08 00:32:32 ET