PITTSBURGH -- Jeff Carter scored his first goal for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who allowed six in the third period but hung on for a 7-6 win against the New Jersey Devils at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday.
Carter extended the Penguins lead to 4-0 with a slap shot at 17:56 of the first period. The forward has two points (one goal, one assist) in four games with Pittsburgh since being acquired in a trade from the Los Angeles Kings on April 12.
"For him to score that first goal as a Pittsburgh Penguin means a lot to him," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "I'm sure he can just relax and play now."
Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist, and Tristan Jarry made 24 saves for the Penguins (29-14-3), who have won five of seven. Pittsburgh is third in the eight-team MassMutual East Division, one point behind the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders. The top four teams qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Video: NJD@PIT: Crosby buries Guentzel's set-up top shelf
The Penguins led 6-0 after the second period. They are the first team to win an NHL game being outscored by five goals in the third period; it had never been done in 270 regular-season games or nine playoff games.
"Well, I've never been through an experience like that," Sullivan said. "It's not an easy one to react to. I'm not sure I have a valid answer for you, and that's what I told the players. … We need to be a whole lot better in a lot of areas to close out games."
Scott Wedgewood allowed four goals on 13 shots before being pulled after the first period for the Devils (14-25-6), who were eliminated from playoff contention with a seventh straight loss despite scoring six third-period goals. Aaron Dell made 16 saves in relief.
Devils goalie Mackenzie Blackwood was unavailable because of an upper-body injury.
"Here's what we need, to start it off, we need better goaltending," New Jersey coach Lindy Ruff said. "Flat-out, need better goaltending. We've made some mistakes. Every team makes some mistakes. You've seen some of the goals that went in. Those are saves that need to be made. ... At the end of the day, I need my guys between the pipes to be the difference for us."
The teams will play the second of a three-game set here Thursday.
Video: NJD@PIT: Rust tucks in goal after Crosby's slick feed
Mike Matheson gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead on a one-timer at 3:49 of the first period.
Bryan Rust made it 2-0 at 8:04. Crosby sent in a pass off the left boards for Rust to take in stride before he wrapped a shot around Wedgewood's left skate.
"Every game is a new game," Rust said. "Doesn't matter if you win 10-1, lose 10-1. … We were definitely lucky enough, and fortunate enough, to pick up two points in regulation."
Brian Dumoulin extended the lead to 3-0 at 8:49. He dumped the puck from center ice on a backhand and it bounced over Wedgewood's glove.
After Carter scored, Teddy Blueger made it 5-0 on a wrist shot off a backhand pass from Rodrigues at 1:12 of the second period. It was the first shot Dell faced.
Rodrigues scored a power-play goal to push the lead to 6-0 at 15:18.
New Jersey scored on six of 11 shots in the third period.
Nico Hischier scored on a 5-on-3, cutting it to 6-1 41 seconds into the period, before Yegor Sharangovich made it 6-2 with a shorthanded goal at 5:14. Nathan Bastian made it 6-3 on a tip-in at 8:48.
"In our locker room, we just wanted to come out and win that period," said Hischier, the Devils captain. "In hockey, you should never quit. I think the team showed some character."
Video: NJD@PIT: Foote nets Merkley's feed for first NHL goal
Crosby scored from a sharp angle to make it 7-3 at 11:15.
Jack Hughes made it 7-4 on a snap shot at 12:52, and Nolan Foote cut it to 7-5 on a one-timer at 13:56 for his first NHL goal in his second game.
Andreas Johnsson banked one in off Jarry for the 7-6 final with 41 seconds remaining. It was his first goal in 32 games since Feb. 21.
"It's virtually impossible to win a game when you give up seven goals," Hughes said. "We had a good third period, obviously. But we can't give up seven goals."
NOTES: New Jersey defenseman P.K. Subban was unavailable after entering the NHL COVID-19 protocol Tuesday. … The Devils have scored six goals in a period five times in their history. The most recent was in the second period of a 6-3 win against the Hartford Whalers on April 6, 1996. … Jarry had the only assist on Dumoulin's goal. He has four assists in 31 games this season, most by a Penguins goalie since Tom Barrasso had four in 1991-92 (57 games). Barrasso holds the Pittsburgh record with eight in 1992-93 (63 games). Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators is the last goalie to have five in a season (2011-12; 73 games).
Video: Carter scores first goal with Penguins in 7-6 victory