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game recap

Boyle gets natural hat trick, Devils defeat Penguins

Center scores three straight on Hockey Fights Cancer awareness night in Pittsburgh

by Wes Crosby / Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Brian Boyle scored his first NHL hat trick to help the New Jersey Devils to a 5-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Monday.

It was Hockey Fights Cancer awareness night in Pittsburgh. Boyle was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia on Sept. 19, 2017, and told that it was in remission on Oct. 24. Boyle was originally told by doctors that it could take up to 18 months before the disease went into full remission; it took 12 months and 33 days.

"I love these nights. I really do," Boyle said. "Sometimes you feel kind of alone. It can be a dark place at times during a cancer fight. ... I remember fighting it a little bit and I'm not feeling great. The worst part of it was people feel sorry for you. They don't know what to say. You want them to feel comfortable around you.


[WATCH: All Devils vs. Penguins highlights]


"I think it's important just to reach out and ask questions if you need the help. I think people generally do a pretty good job of uplifting people. I was fortunate enough to be uplifted by all the people in here, my family. It [stinks], but I think there are enough good people in the world to kind of lift you up out of it."

Video: Enterprise Hat Trick: Boyle nets three on HFC night

After Penguins defenseman Jamie Oleksiak tied it 1-1 at 9:24 of the first period, Boyle scored three straight to give the Devils a 4-1 lead with his first hat trick in 705 NHL games. He scored more than one goal in a game for the first time since Dec. 12, 2017, when he had three points (two goals, one assist) against the Dallas Stars.

"That was a lot of fun. That was fun for us," Boyle said. "It was good for us. ... Tonight, to bury a couple was nice."

Keith Kinkaid made 35 saves for New Jersey (6-5-1), which ended a three-game losing streak.

"It was good to see us be rewarded for the type of work we put into the game," Devils coach John Hynes said. "Nice to see the guys put the work in that was needed to be able to turn this around."

Matt Murray made 23 saves on 27 shots for the Penguins (6-4-3) before being pulled entering the third period of their fourth straight loss (0-3-1). Casey DeSmith made 11 saves on 12 shots in relief.

Pittsburgh has been outscored 18-6 in its past four games after winning its previous four.

"Obviously, we're concerned," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "We don't want to lose four games in a row. In this particular point in the season it's so early in the season, it's more about the process than anything. Right now, I think we're chasing the game."

Video: Clutch Performance: Boyle tallies three on HFC night

Devils defenseman Will Butcher gave them a 1-0 lead at 2:24 of the first period before Boyle put New Jersey ahead 2-1 at 12:27 of the first after Oleksiak tied the game. Boyle's second goal made it 3-1 at 7:38 of the second and his third extended it to 4-1 at 19:40.

After Devils forward Joey Anderson took a shot off Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta, it slid to Butcher in the left face-off circle for a snap shot he sent over a diving Murray. The assist was Anderson's first point in three NHL games.

Oleksiak one-timed a slap shot from the top of the right face-off circle past Kinkaid.

Boyle deflected a shot from Devils defenseman Ben Lovejoy past Murray for his fourth goal of the season before tipping another shot, this time from forward Kyle Palmieri on a power play, for his fifth. He one-timed a snap shot on another power play for his sixth.

Devils center Travis Zajac made it 5-1 on the first shot DeSmith faced 19 seconds into the third period.

Video: NJD@PIT: Zajac nets Severson's pass in front


They said it

"That guy, what he's been through, it's going to carry with him throughout his career and his life. But for a guy like me, a younger guy being a part of it, I'm going to remember it too." -- Devils defenseman Will Butcher on forward Brian Boyle


"We just have to work ourselves out of it. It's something that a lot of us have been through before. When it's going like this, you have to find a way to grab a hold of it." -- Penguins captain Sidney Crosby


Need to know

Devils defenseman Andy Greene played his 800th NHL game. ... Devils forward Marcus Johansson had the secondary assist on Zajac's goal. It was the 200th assist of his NHL career. ... Devils forward Stefan Noesen (upper body) and defenseman Steven Santini (broken jaw) did not travel with the team. Each is on injured reserve. ... Murray has allowed at least four goals in each of his five home starts this season (1-4-0).


What's next

Devils: At the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; RDS2, TSN5, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Penguins: At the Washington Capitals on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS)

Video: Boyle's natural hat trick powers Devils past Penguins

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