EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - The Pittsburgh Penguins doubled their season win total, got their first overtime victory and had a strong start to their longest road trip of the season.
Sergei Gonchar's goal 1:01 into overtime lifted Pittsburgh over the New Jersey Devils 4-3 Tuesday night for the Penguins' second win - the first in overtime in six games. Four of the previous five had been decided in the extra period and one in a shootout.
``When you have one win, you need them all,'' Penguins owner-captain Mario Lemieux said.
Pittsburgh, opening a five-game, nine-day road trip, dominated for most of the game and led 3-1 on Maxime Talbot's short-handed goal with 16:54 left. But the Devils (6-5-1) tied it on goals by Brian Gionta and Erik Rasmussen, with Rasmussen's coming with 2:12 remaining.
That set the stage for Gonchar, who took the puck inside his own blue line and meandered through the Devils defense, hesitating at one point before his backhander from in close trickled under goalie Scott Clemmensen.
``I guess it was a long shift for them,'' Gonchar said. ``We had a shift change, and I was just trying to create something, go in one more time. I had a chance to skate around them and find a hole.''
Not much has come easy this season for the Penguins (2-5-5), who entered the game having allowed the most goals (53) in the NHL this season. Sebastien Caron finished with 26 saves, Mark Recchi had a power-play goal and Lasse Pirjeta added an even-strength score.
Talbot's goal, on a play in which Matt Murley took the puck from Vladimir Malakhov outside the Penguins' blue line and fed Talbot on a two-on-one, particularly irked Devils coach Larry Robinson.
``The one that hurt us was the short-handed goal,'' Robinson said. ``We should never give up a short-handed goal, but those things happen.''
Clemmensen finished with 33 saves and picked up his first loss after two wins in place of Martin Brodeur, out with a sprained knee. Brodeur is expected to make his return in the next game or two.
The Devils picked up the pace after Gionta's goal and came close on several plays before Rasmussen tied the score. However, the Penguins held on.
``The first thing I thought was that we had played as well as we could play up to that point, and we were tied,'' Pittsburgh coach Ed Olczyk said. ``But we kept playing and the guys were resilient. I'm proud of them. To finally get a break and win a game like this, it was a great way to cap off a night.''
Jamie Langenbrunner scored New Jersey's first goal in the second period, one-timing a high wrist shot past Caron from the right circle after Jay Pandolfo had outskated Pittsburgh's Steve Poapst to a loose puck down the right boards and went behind the net.
Notes: The Penguins recalled D Ryan Whitney and C Erik Christensen from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Monday and Olczyk put both on the ice to start the game. ... D Josef Melichar, D Ric Jackman and RW Ryan VandenBussche were scratches for the Penguins. ... New Jersey scratched D Colin White and LW Darren Langdon. ... Pandolfo appeared in his 500th game for the Devils. ... The last time Brodeur didn't dress for three straight games was during the 1993-94 season.
|Jamie Langenbrunner (2) ASST: Jay Pandolfo (1), Sean Brown (6)|
1 - 0 NJD
|PPG - Mark Recchi (3) ASST: Sidney Crosby (13), Ryan Whitney (1)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Lasse Pirjeta (2) ASST: NONE|
2 - 1 PIT
|SHG - Maxime Talbot (2) ASST: Matt Murley (2)|
3 - 1 PIT
|PPG - Brian Gionta (6) ASST: Viktor Kozlov (6), Sean Brown (7)|
3 - 2 PIT
|Erik Rasmussen (2) ASST: Alexander Mogilny (8), Richard Matvichuk (2)|
3 - 3 Tie
|Sergei Gonchar (5) ASST: Steve Poapst (2), Mark Recchi (12)|
4 - 3 PIT
|Scott Gomez Hooking against Ryan Malone|
|John Madden Hooking against Sergei Gonchar|
|Erik Christensen Interference against Sergei Brylin|
|Ziggy Palffy Tripping against Scott Gomez|
|Sergei Brylin Hooking against Mark Recchi|
|Zach Parise Too many men on the ice|
|Brian Gionta Interference against Erik Christensen|
|Erik Christensen Hooking against Pascal Rheaume|
|Jamie Langenbrunner Roughing against Lyle Odelein|
|Lyle Odelein Cross checking against Jamie Langenbrunner|
|Daniel Mcgillis Holding against Maxime Talbot|
|Sergei Gonchar Hooking against Zach Parise|