|NJD||2||2||2||(0 - 0)||6|
|PIT||0||2||1||(0 - 0)||3|
TIME: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. EDT.
Sidney Crosby hasn't been part of an NHL victory yet, and his frustration is starting to show.
Pittsburgh's rookie phenom looks to help the Penguins earn their first win of the season when they host the New Jersey Devils.
The 18-year-old Crosby and a number of veteran stars, including John LeClair and Ziggy Palffy, have been part of a complete overhaul for the NHL's worst team in 2003-04.
But Pittsburgh remains the league's only winless squad and is off to the second winless six-game start in team history. The other came with an 0-3-3 start in 1969, the franchise's third season.
"There's a sense of urgency, but you can't push the panic button," Crosby said. "It's not a time to tinker, because we've got the right guys to win games."
Crosby has played well to start his career with team-highs in both assists (7) and points (9), but he lost control of his emotions in a 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Saturday.
He assisted on Palffy's team-leading fourth goal in the third period but contributed to the flurry of Penguins penalties that kept the Lightning on the power play for much of the second period.
He drew a slashing penalty at 12:17 and then complicated it by complaining to the officials, who slapped him with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that gave Tampa Bay a crucial four-minute advantage.
"It was uncalled for on my part," Crosby said. "I just said when he (referee Paul Devorski) made the call that it's just the emotion of the game ... and we exchanged some words."
Crosby will be looking for his first measure of revenge against the Devils, who cruised to a 5-1 victory in his NHL debut on Oct. 5.
Crosby had an assist in that loss but was outplayed by fellow rookie Zach Parise, who scored a power-play goal and assisted on another in his debut.
Martin Brodeur turned aside 36 shots for the Devils in that win and stopped 21 shots Tuesday in a 4-3 victory over Florida, one game after being replaced after two periods in a 6-1 loss to Carolina.
New Jersey scored three power-play goals, including the game-winner by Alexander Mogilny, to snap a two-game losing streak in which the team was outscored 10-2 by the Hurricanes and New York Rangers.
The Devils scored five power-play goals in 31 opportunities over their first five games.
"The problem was our passing," New Jersey coach Larry Robinson said. "We weren't making hard, crisp passes."
Penguins starting goalie Jocelyn Thibault, who injured a knee during practice on Oct. 8, has been cleared to play and is expected to start this game.
STANDINGS (through Oct. 18): Devils - 6 points, 2nd place (tied), 4 PB, Atlantic Division. Penguins - 4 points, 4th place (tied), 6 PB, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Devils - Mogilny, Sergei Brylin and Brian Gionta, 3 goals; Paul Martin and Dan McGillis, 4 assists; Mogilny, 6 points; Jamie Langenbrunner, 10 PIM. Penguins - Palffy, 4 goals; Crosby, 7 assists and 9 points; Sergei Gonchar, 14 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 18): Devils - Power play: 21.1 percent (8 for 38), 8th in NHL. Penalty killing: 86.8 percent (33 for 38), 10th. Penguins - Power play: 17.9 percent (7 for 39), 12th. Penalty killing: 83.3 percent (35 for 42), 15th.
GOALTENDERS: Devils - Brodeur (3-3-0, 3.50 GAA); Scott Clemmensen (0-0-0, 3.00). Penguins - Thibault (0-1-0, 5.00) Sebastien Caron (0-0-3, 4.00).
SEASON SERIES: Devils, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Oct. 5; Devils, 5-1. At East Rutherford, N.J., Gionta and Brylin each scored two goals for the Devils.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Devils - 0-2-0 on the road; Penguins - 0-1-1 at home.