But a slap shot from Evgeni Malkin on a 5-on-3 power play started the Penguins on a four-goal flurry through the remainder of the period. Malkin, who is second on Pittsburgh with 11 points, has scored at least one point in each of the Penguins' first eight games after missing training camp with an undisclosed injury.
Penguins coach Mike Johnston wasn't satisfied with how the Penguins played early in the second period but was impressed with how they responded.
"In the early portion of the second period, I thought we had a bit of a lull," Johnston said. "It was a real key turning point, the power-play goal, the power-play goal and the Hornqvist goal shortly after. And there were other key things in the game for me.
"Seven different players scoring, there was contribution through our lineup. If we're going to be successful, we need that at both ends of the rink."
Malkin scored 8:56 into the second, and Patric Hornqvist tied the game 3-3 with snap shot under the post 3:46 later.
Craig Adams, who was exiting the penalty box after being called for boarding, received a pass from Brandon Sutter and beat goalie Cory Schneider for a breakaway goal and Pittsburgh's first lead of the game with 2:25 left in the period. Adams' goal was his sixth in his past 90 regular-season games.
"I tried to slow down a little bit and let my hands catch up to my feet," Adams said. "I tried to pull it and put it high glove and didn't quite get it up there, but it got high enough. … Being down 3-1, it's tough against these guys, and we know that from the past. So to be able to come back and get the lead was big for us, and obviously we were able to hold it from there and keep pushing."
Sidney Crosby collected the puck after a shot from Chris Kunitz bounced in the crease and took a wrist shot past Schneider, who lost sight of the puck, for his first of two goals with 1:11 left in the period.
Devils coach Peter DeBoer said it was fair to say the Devils were rattled late in the second.
"We beat ourselves," DeBoer said. "It's unfortunate, but you can't come into a building a play a team like that and not be on top of your game for 60 minutes, and we weren't."
Schneider, who allowed five goals on 23 shots, was replaced by Scott Clemmensen to start the third period. Pascal Dupuis scored a power-play goal on Clemmensen's second shot faced to extend the Penguins lead to 6-3, 5:29 into the third.
"We just have to find a way to stop the bleeding," Schneider said. "That's me, to make one of those saves to keep it 3-3, 4-3, something. But for whatever reason right now, we're having some breakdowns that aren't just temporary; they're lasting for five, 10 minutes or a period.
"We all need to be a little better and more focused."
Steve Downie scored the Penguins' seventh goal on a power play with 6:13 remaining. Crosby's second goal was Pittsburgh's eighth, scored 2:53 later. Crosby leads the Penguins with 14 points.
The Devils took little time gaining an early lead, scoring nine seconds after the opening faceoff with a goal from Dainius Zubrus.
Jaromir Jagr slid the puck to Travis Zajac following the faceoff. Zajac found Zubrus to the right of the Pittsburgh net and Zubrus wristed a shot over Marc-Andre Fleury's rising glove to give the Devils a 1-0 lead.
The fastest three goals to start a game in NHL history were each scored 5 seconds following puck drop.
New Jersey did not record a second shot one goal until 8:33 into the first when Stephen Gionta took a wrist shot on Fleury. The Penguins took advantage of the Devils' downturn by tying the game with a goal from Blake Comeau 7:17 into the first.
Schneider left his crease to play the puck behind the New Jersey net and sent a pass that was intercepted by Dupuis. He passed the puck into the crease between Comeau and Devils forward Adam Henrique with Schneider scrambling back from the end boards. Comeau gained possession and backhanded a shot for his second goal of the season.
The Devils came on strong late in the period, forcing two penalties and narrowing the Penguins' shot edge to 9-8. They failed to break the tie, but Zajac and Marek Zidlicky each hit the left post.
The Penguins, who once ranked last in the NHL in penalty killing, have killed their opponents' past 18 power plays. Dupuis, one of Pittsburgh's key penalty killers, said the Penguins felt pressure after the Devils' opening goal but never wilted.
"They came out hard on the first shot," Dupuis said. "So obviously we were on our heels a bit, but I think the way we responded when it was 3-1, big goal by [Malkin] there on the power play and we started rolling. … That was a big game. They're a hard team to play against and they're a team that plays tight in the neutral zone.
"I feel like things opened there in the second and the third."