Pittsburgh Penguins Outlast New Jersey Devils in 1-0 Win


The Pittsburgh Penguins topped the New Jersey Devils 1-0 tonight in a close-fought affair that saw some solid goaltending and a fair bit of fireworks.

Marc-Andre Fleury posted a perfect game for the Pens, stopping all 29 of the Devils’ shots to record his league-leading 5th shutout of the season and 33rd of his career.

Evgeni Malkin led the way for Pittsburgh up front, scoring the only goal of the game to take his own tally to 12 – tops among his teammates.

The goal came at the tail end of some superb play from Malkin’s linemates for the night, Blake Comeau and Jayson Megna. The trio looked dangerous all night and simply embarrassed the Devils defense on the scoring play.

The puck slipped up past the Pens blue line before Comeau spun and gave it to Megna along the wall. The young winger carried up the ice as Comeau drove towards the net. Megna threaded a pass up to Comeau who spun and dished a beauty to a wide open Malkin in the slot.

The talented Russian made no mistake, waiting out Devils’ tender Cory Schneider before slipping the puck underneath his pads and into the twine.

Pittsburgh’s newly formed second line were a force all night, most notably in the third when they wore their hearts on their sleeves to drive their team towards the ‘W’.

Malkin led the way midway through the third when Devils’ defender Eric Gelinas crosschecked Comeau in the back after play was stopped. Geno immediately put Gelinas into the boards, prompting a few shots to the face from New Jersey forward Adam Henrique. The big Russian engaged him and landed a few of his own while the refs stepped in to separate the two.

While Malkin’s emotion was potent enough that the referees served him a 10-minute misconduct later in the night to send him to the locker room, his teammates surely applauded his unmatched effort on the ice tonight.

After seasons of seeming soft and hesitant to engage with other teams’ physicality, Pittsburgh showed tonight that they are more than willing to defend each other and bare their teeth when needed.

Pens defender Robert Bortuzzo certainly did just that late in the second period when he launched himself into current Devil, and former Penguin legend, Jaromir Jagr. The colossal check sent Jagr to the ice for some time. Jagr, currently the Devils’ leading scorer, would leave the ice and not return.

Already without forwards Stephen Gionta and Patrik Elias by the time the third period rolled around, the Devils were unable to come back, and were forced to concede the 1-0 loss to Pittsburgh.

Penguins netminder Marc-Andre Fleury, who tallied his 5th shutout of the still-young season tonight, seems set to break his own record after the close win. Fleury has yet to post more than 5 shutouts in a single season over his career, but has hit the 5-shutout mark twice before in the NHL.

With the season only 19 games young, the veteran netminder has already matched his career high, and will have plenty of time to set a new career mark as the season progresses.

The Pens will look to continue their win streak Thursday night when they face off against the Vancouver Canucks at home.

Want to stay updated on all things Pittsburgh Penguins? Pens Labyrinth has you covered! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest!