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game recap

Penguins shut out by Devils rookie

Pittsburgh fails to gain in playoff race; Wedgewood makes 39 saves

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

Wedgewood withstands the pressure

NJD@PIT: Wedgewood makes back-to-back saves on Fehr

3/24/16: Scott Wedgewood knocks down Eric Fehr's wrister, then withstands the pressure on rebound attempts to help maintain the Devils' lead

  • 00:37 •

PITTSBURGH -- New Jersey Devils goalie Scott Wedgewood faced a wrist shot from Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby eight seconds into his second NHL start Thursday.

Wedgewood stopped that shot and went on to stop all 38 other Penguins shots to earn his first NHL shutout and help the Devils to a 3-0 win at Consol Energy Center.

With Cory Schneider recovering from an MCL sprain, Wedgewood made his NHL debut in a 2-1 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday. He has allowed one goal, to Blue Jackets forward Jared Boll, on 67 shots through two starts.

"I'm super happy, super stoked for the way that it's going right now and obviously, I don't want to get too high or too low at any point throughout the year," Wedgewood said. "But right now, it's feeling good. I'm feeling confident in my game and the guys around me are making it very easy to play to at this level."

Video: NJD@PIT: Wedgewood denies Crosby and Kunitz in 1st

The Penguins tested Wedgewood in the first period, when he made 14 saves. His most impressive save came 24 seconds into the second period when Crosby cruised toward Wedgewood on a 3-on-1, kept the puck and was denied on a point-blank wrist shot to preserve a 2-0 Devils lead.

"That's two [game pucks] in two games," Wedgewood said. "I have to figure out what to do next."

New Jersey (36-31-7) has won five of its past seven games (5-2-0) since losing 6-1 to Pittsburgh on March 6.

Devils coach John Hynes said he has been pleased with how his team has responded to several recent injuries.

"The focus doesn't change, no matter who's in or out of the lineup," Hynes said. "You have to find a way to be able to win. We're just proud of the fact of how we've played and I think it's a credit to the players. We've focused one day at a time and we've focused, really, on playing to an identity regardless of what happens, who's in, who's out, what our record is. And I think, as of late, we've been able to do that."

Video: NJD@PIT: Zajac feeds Palmieri for early goal

Pittsburgh (40-25-8) saw its six-game winning streak end and finished a stretch of nine consecutive games against Metropolitan Division opponents 7-2-0. The Penguins are third in the division, four points behind the New York Rangers and one point ahead of the New York Islanders.

"We had some quality chances, we just couldn't seem to get a goal," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "I think if we could've scored there, it would've given our team some life. We just couldn't seem to get one. Sid has a great chance on a 3-on-1, we had extended time in the offensive zone where we couldn't seem to get it behind [Wedgewood]."

Kyle Palmieri scored two goals, including 26 seconds into the game to give the Devils a 1-0 lead. Travis Zajac sent a pass off the near wall that ricocheted to Palmieri streaking past Penguins defenseman Kris Letang. Palmieri held off Letang and shot under Fleury's left pad for his 28th goal.

With Pittsburgh forward Beau Bennett, who returned from an upper-body injury, in the penalty box for holding, Palmieri scored to extend the lead to 2-0. Defenseman Damon Severson set up Palmieri for a one-time slap shot that avoided Fleury's glove and made its way into the upper-right corner of the net eight seconds into the power play with 6:52 remaining in the first period.

Video: NJD@PIT: Palmieri rifles one-timer for PPG

Palmieri has at least one point in four consecutive games and has two goals in two of the four games. He leads the Devils with 29 goals and 52 points.

"It'd be nice [to score 30 goals this season]," Palmieri said. "Obviously, there are a couple games left here, and right now, I think our group is just having a lot of fun trying to string some wins together in a playoff race here. I think some people count us out, but we haven't been eliminated yet, so we just want to keep going."

Adam Henrique scored his 27th of the season, 9:57 into the third period.

Crosby's 12-game scoring streak (six goals, 20 points), which was the NHL's longest active streak, ended; he failed to score for the first time since Feb. 27.

"We didn't play well enough here," Crosby said. "That's what we have to focus on, is making sure we're better. … We were well rested. We understand how important the games are at this point, but we didn't play well enough. So, we didn't deserve to win that one."

Video: Palmieri, Wedgewood lead Devils in win over Penguins

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