The New Jersey Devils were looking for a rematch to get even after dropping a 5-1 decision to Pittsburgh just one week ago and they got it on Saturday afternoon in snowy Newark. The Devils played a much better game and got contributions from some unlikely sources in a 3-1 victory in front of a sell-out crowd at the Prudential Center. It was the Devils fourth straight win.
"This win was huge for us," Devils forward Adam Henrique said. "We didn't play our game against them last week. We did things to adjust. Our special teams have been really big lately. Our power play got the big plays down the stretch and when you get two, it always pays off."
The Penguins came out of the gate with a quick start and were able to go up 1-0 on a power play early in the first period. But after a momentum shift occurred when Devils enforcer Krystofer Barch fought Penguins defenceman Deryk Engelland, New Jersey started playing much better, especially in the second period when they tied the game on rookie Stefan Matteau's first NHL goal.
The Devils dominated the play much of the third period and were finally able to capitalize on the Penguins undisciplined play when Henrique and Bobby Butler scored third-period power-play goals during a 2:12 span. Ilya Kovalchuk and Andy Greene had two assists each.
Martin Brodeur made 24 saves in his 1,200th career game. He became the first NHL goalie to play that many.
Dainius Zubrus missed another game with an upper body injury. Henrik Tallinder and Peter Harrold were healthy scratches for New Jersey. The teams will face off again on Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. in the second of a home-and-home series in Pittsburgh.