NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, October 24th
(All times eastern)
New Jersey Devils (5-3-0) at Pittsburgh Penguins (9-1-0), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby has accomplished a lot over his
300-game NHL career, yet somehow he continues to find ways to amaze.
One night after willing his team to their seventh straight win, Crosby and the
Penguins host the New Jersey Devils tonight in an Atlantic Division clash at
At 9-1-0, the Penguins are off to their best start since they began the
1994-95 lockout-shortened season with 12 wins and a tie in their first 13
games. They haven't won eight in a row since December 23, 2007-January 10,
Pittsburgh's winning streak was in jeopardy early on Friday night, as the club
fell behind by two goals in the first period to Florida. However, Crosby
netted a power-play goal early in the third period and then forced overtime
with his first-career short-handed tally.
After a scoreless OT, Crosby beat Panthers netminder Tomas Vokoun with a
wrister for the only goal of the shootout, giving the Penguins a 3-2 victory
in their first game since Sergei Gonchar was lost for four-to-six weeks due to
a broken wrist.
"Even though we were down 2-0 going into the third we felt like we were pretty
close and we stayed with it and got a lot of shots," said Crosby, who has 138
goals, 269 assists and 407 points in his career.
Brent Johnson made 27 saves for the Penguins, who are likely to insert Marc-
Andre Fleury back into the lineup for this contest. Fleury is a perfect 8-0-0
with a 1.96 goals-against average this year, but just 8-10-4 with a 2.50 GAA
versus the Devils.
Crosby has 16 goals and 16 assists in his career versus New Jersey, including
five goals and three assists in six games last year.
The Devils, meanwhile, put their perfect road record on the line tonight in
Pittsburgh. They have won each of their first four games this year as the
guest, getting that fourth victory on Thursday in New York with a 4-2 triumph
over the Rangers.
New Jersey blew a 2-0 lead to New York, but took back the lead for good nearly
eight minutes into the third period on a goal by Dainius Zubrus. Zach Parise
added a pair of goals and one assist, while Nicklas Bergfors also scored.
"I don't know. I don't think there is anything we do differently. It just
happens we're 4-0-0 on the road. We have been playing smart on the road,"
Parise said of the Devils' road success this year.
Martin Brodeur made 29 saves in the win, the Devils' fifth in six games since
starting the season with two losses. Brodeur remains one shutout shy of Terry
Sawchuk's NHL record of 103. He has five in his career against Pittsburgh.
Parise has four goals over his last three games, though he struggled versus
the Penguins last year as just two of his career-high 45 goals came against
New Jersey split its six meetings with the Penguins last season, losing two of
three in Pittsburgh. The Devils, though, have won six of their last nine in
the Steel City.
10/24 10:38:58 ET