After falling to the New Jersey Devils Saturday afternoon in Newark, the Pittsburgh Penguins looked to split the weekend home-and-home series Sunday night in Pittsburgh. The Devils grabbed an early first period lead and never looked back, completing the sweep of the Penguins, 3-1.
The game began started off with a bang when Robert Bortuzzo of the Penguins and Ryan Carter of the Devils scrapped right off the opening faceoff. After Bortuzzo and Carter settled their discrepancies, David Clarkson beat Tomas Vokoun at 13:06 of the period to give the Devils the 1-0 lead. The Penguins did lead the first period in shots, 10-4, but the Devils took their 1-0 lead into the intermission.
In what seems to be a pattern lately, the Penguins once again fell into a second period lull. Ilya Kovalchuk started the scoring on a two-on-one with Adam Henrique and snapped a shot past Vokoun to give the Devils a 2-0 lead. Less than two minutes later, the Devils got a power play after James Neal took a cross-checking call. David Clarkson cashed in with his second goal of the game and ninth of the year to improve the Devils’ lead to 3-0.
The Penguins started the third period with a sign of life, getting a power play goal from James Neal fifteen seconds into the period. Unfortunately for the Penguins, that’s all the scoring they could muster in this one as Johan Hedberg posed as a brick wall in front of the net, stopping twenty-three of twenty-four shots to pick up his second win of the season.
The Penguins are off until Wednesday, February 13 when the Ottawa Senators come into Pittsburgh for a 7:00 p.m. et faceoff.
-After giving the Devils ten power play opportunities on Saturday, the Penguins only gave up one power play.
-After watching his goaltending partner, Martin Brodeur, pick up his 662nd career win the previous night, Johan Hedberg picked up win #157.
-Sunday night was the 900th career game for Matt Cooke.
-Before Sunday night’s game, the Penguins placed defenseman Kris Letang on injured reserve with a lower-body injury and called up defenseman Joe Morrow from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
1. David Clarkson (2 goals)
2. Johan Hedberg (23 saves, .958 save %)
3. James Neal (1 goal)