NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Pittsburgh
(Thursday, October 20th)
Final Score: New Jersey 6, Pittsburgh 3
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Brian Gionta recorded two goals and an assist while linemate Scott Gomez posted a goal and two assists, as the New Jersey Devils defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 6-3, at Mellon Arena.
Jay Pandolfo, Vladimir Malakhov and Alexander Mogilny also scored for the Devils, who are winners of two straight following a two-game slide. Goaltender Martin Brodeur, who had struggled in recent setbacks to the New York Rangers and Carolina, bounced back with a solid effort and 30 saves. The future Hall of Fame netminder, with this victory, is now tied with Glenn Hall for sixth place on the all-time wins list with 407.
Mario Lemieux, Dick Tarnstrom and Richard Jackman each registered a goal for the Penguins, who remained winless in the 2005-06 season (0-3-4). Jocelyn Thibault allowed six goals on 29 shots in the losing effort.
"I am disappointed because of the way that we practiced and the way I thought we were heading into tonight's game," said Penguins coach Ed Olczyk. "That team is too good to get that far behind."
Brodeur was sharp early on and denied Ziggy Palffy on a breakaway with a nice pad save under four minutes into the contest. Soon after, Lemieux was open near the left post, but Brodeur, already sprawled out, kicked his pad back up and made a save with his skate.
The Devils gave Brodeur a two-goal cushion with a pair of markers in the latter half of the opening period. With 9:13 to play, Pandolfo put the visitors ahead. Jamie Langenbrunner skated down the right side and slid a pass into the slot, where Pandolfo fired it past Thibault low to the glove side.
Later, with under two minutes to go in the opening frame, the Devils moved ahead by two. The arm of referee Stephane Auger was in the air waiting to call a penalty on the Pens, but the Devils did not need the man advantage.
Gomez and Gionta broke in on a 2-on-2 and Gionta fought off a defender inside the right circle. With one hand on his stick, he dropped the disc to Gomez, whose wrister lit the lamp at 18:04.
The Penguins, though, scored twice within a 29-second span near the middle of the second period for a 2-2 tie.
After Tarnstrom's second goal of the season at 8:14, Pittsburgh tied it up on the very next shift. Brooks Orpik fired a slapshot from the point that Brodeur stopped, but the rebound came to Palffy near the bottom of the right circle. Palffy immediately spotted Lemieux, who was left all alone in the slot and his one-timer tied it up.
"They move the puck better or as good as any team in the league," said Devils coach Larry Robinson. "You have to be very patient when you play a team like that."
However, New Jersey grabbed the momentum right back with a power-play goal 31 seconds later. Mogilny held the puck at the top of the left circle and passed back and forth down low before leaving a soft pass in the high slot for Malakhov, who ripped home a one-timer at 9:14 for a 3-2 Devils lead.
Gionta then took over and scored the next two markers for a three-goal cushion. The first came on the power play after Konstantin Koltsov went off for holding. Gionta held control along the goal line to the left of the net. He was looking to get the puck back to the point, but the passing lanes were filled. Gionta then broke toward Thibault and from a very sharp angle slid the disc home.
Following Gionta's second goal of the night, which came just 1:41 into the final stanza, the Devils scored again 27 seconds later to make it 6-2. Mogilny's effort down low allowed him to gain position along the goal line to the right of the net. He then cut in front and tried to stuff it home, but the puck inadvertently deflected off the skate of Pittsburgh defenseman Steve Poapst and went in.
That was the end of Thibault's night and Sebastien Caron came on in relief. Caron ended up with seven saves.
Jackman's slapshot from the top of the right circle on the power play capped the scoring.
Pittsburgh has not won at home against the Devils since November 27, 2001...Super rookie Sydney Crosby did not record a point, thus ending his six- game point streak...Thibault had been sidelined with a knee injury...New Jersey produced its first road win of the season (1-2-0)...The Devils have now captured 13 of their last 16 games in Pittsburgh...The Pens finished 1-for-5 on the power play, while New Jersey ended 2-for-6 with the extra skater.
10/20 23:17:23 ET