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A Night Of Firsts As Penguins Defeat Devils For First Win

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - The Penguins accomplished a few things on the agenda with their 3-1 victory over Atlantic Division rival Devils in New Jersey early Monday evening.

The Penguins:
picked up their first win of the 2010-11 campaign.
picked up the first power-play goal of the season.
picked up a key victory over a tough division opponent.
ended the Devils’ six-game winning streak against them, and snapped a 0-3-1 mark in New Jersey.

Pittsburgh started the season by dropping its first two games – both at the brand-new CONSOL Energy Center. While no one in the Penguins organization thought the tam would go 0-82, it was nice to get that first win on the board.

“It’s nice to pull out a win, and a road win,” goaltender Brent Johnson said. “We were so close the last game. It’s especially nice winning in New Jersey. It’s tough to win here.”

The Penguins picked up their first power-play goal of the season in the second period with a second to spare. Kris Letang’s shot bounced off of Mark Letestu in front of the net and the Devils’ Henrik Tallinder before sliding behind Martin Brodeur with one second remaining on the penalty.

The Penguins thought they had their first man-advantage tally Saturday against Montreal, however the league ruled that the goal was scored at the exact second the penalty had expired. This time, the clock struck in Pittsburgh’s favor.

“We were worried we were not going to get this one either,” head coach Dan Bylsma said. “That’s what we’re looking for on our power play. We got a goal because we had a shot and a guy standing in front. You get that situation, that’s something we have to focus on – getting pucks there with that net-front presence.

“The second power-play unit has gotten two goals for us so if they keep scoring, they could see some more time.”

The Penguins did have a game-long three-man advantage as the Devils played with only 15 skaters (as opposed to the normal 18) because the team is up against the salary cap and couldn’t call minor leaguers up to play in place of some injured players.

“We talked about speeding the game up and keeping it at a pace where it was favorable to us to wear them down,” Bylsma said.

The Penguins lost all six contests to the Devils in 2009-10. That lopsided result appeared to be an anomaly, but regardless the team ended any talk of that streak continuing.

The last time the Penguins won in the Garden State was when Marc-Andre Fleury pitched a 37-save shutout Dec. 26, 2008. Pittsburgh was 0-3-1 since then, but now are a perfect 1-0.

“This is a team that we didn’t get a win against (last year),” Bylsma said. “It was good to get (the first goal) and to get the 2-0 lead for the dynamic on our bench against a team that we’ve gotten behind and frustrated in the past.”

“It’s been a long time since we’ve beaten them, so that was nice,” Alex Goligoski said.

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