NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Pittsburgh
(Wednesday, October 18th)
Final Score: New Jersey 2, Pittsburgh 1
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Martin Brodeur became just the third goaltender in history to win 450 games, but nothing could overshadow the debut of Evgeni Malkin as the New Jersey Devils beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 2-1, at Mellon Arena.
The rookie phenom started the game and tallied his first NHL goal. Malkin skated 20 shifts, totaling 18:15 of ice time, while taking two shots.
"He did well," said Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby. "He created a few chances, probably could have had a couple more (goals). It's not going to happen overnight getting used to each other. But he's an amazing guy to play with."
Malkin, who was the second overall selection in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, made his long-awaited unveiling after dislocating his left shoulder in a collision with teammate John LeClair in a pre-season game on September 20 in Moncton, New Brunswick.
He tallied 21 goals and 26 assists in 46 games for the Metallurg Magnitogorsk in 2005-06 in the Russian Super League. Malkin left his hometown team in August as it arrived in Finland for training camp. He secretly traveled half the globe, arriving in the United States to sign his first NHL contract with the Penguins on September 5.
"I have an impression of him before because I saw him at the world championships," said Devils head coach Claude Julien. "He is definitely going to be a great player. This is his first game and they have to give him time. From what I can see, he is going to blossom into a real great player."
His former team on Wednesday retained the services of a United States-based law firm and are suing the NHL and Pittsburgh Penguins in U.S. Federal Court. Magnitogorsk believes it has a valid contract with Malkin and is looking for a court injunction to prevent him from playing in North America.
This comes one day after a different Russian club, Yaroslavl, hired the same law firm to file a similar suit against the NHL, Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers for their contracts with Andrei Taratukhin and Alexei Mikhnov, respectively.
Brodeur joined Florida's Ed Belfour (457) and Patrick Roy (551) as the only netminders to reach the 450-win plateau. Brodeur stopped 37-of-38 shots in the contest.
Jay Pandolfo and Jamie Langenbrunner each scored for the Devils, who have won three of their last four games.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 32 saves for the Penguins, who have lost three of their last four contests.
Malkin almost scored his first NHL point as Pittsburgh had a great chance to take the early lead, but Ryan Whitney's shot went off the post with 6:22 to play in the opening period.
After a scoreless first period, the Devils drew first blood when Fleury stopped Pandolfo's first shot but the forward grabbed the rebound and backhanded the puck into the open net 3:18 into the middle stanza.
With 1:22 on the clock in the second, Pittsburgh evened the score, 1-1, as Malkin scored his first NHL goal. Mark Recchi put the puck on net and Brodeur smothered the rebound. After Whitney took a hack, Malkin skated by and pushed the puck through the netminder's pads.
The Devils regained the lead with 10:48 to play on Langenbrunner's third goal of the season. Patrick Elias skated behind the left post before dishing the puck to Langenbrunner, who wristed the shot past Fleury.
Pittsburgh's Nils Ekman was hit with a crucial holding call with 3:35 to play and New Jersey just played the dump and trap, taking no shots with the man- advantage, to kill time off the clock.
After killing the penalty the Penguins couldn't generate any offense with the extra attacker.
The Devils welcome Nashville to New Jersey, while Pittsburgh visits the New York Islanders on Thursday...New Jersey went 5-3 against the Penguins last season...New Jersey forward John Madden recorded his 100th career assist on Pandolfo's goal...Pittsburgh's last six first-round draft picks were all on the ice (Colby Armstrong, Whitney, Fleury, Malkin, Crosby and Jordan Staal)...With 8:32 left in the third, the game was delayed for almost four minutes after Malkin broke the glass behind Brodeur with a slap shot...Pittsburgh outshot New Jersey, 38-34...The Devils went 0-for-5 on the power play while the Penguins didn't score in their only opportunity with the man advantage.
10/18 23:26:17 ET