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by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

For the 12th time this season - and 92nd time in his career - Martin Brodeur was perfect.

Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils blanked the Penguins, 1-0, Tuesday night at Mellon Arena.

"He is a great goalie and one of the greatest ever to play, but he got some lucky bounces," Penguins center Sidney Crosby said. "There were pucks behind him, but his defensemen were there to back him up - not to take anything away from him; he played solid."

The Penguins had several scoring chances, but Brodeur made several huge saves and the Devils' defense was sharp once again.

"There's no doubt. This is a good hockey team. Brodeur, again, was phenomenal," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "We just couldn't get that break. We hit the post. We need some breaks and we didn't get it, but I really liked the effort. I am really optimistic about the game. We bounced back. We didn't get the win, but it's not always about the result as long as performance is there. We know that down the road if we keep playing that way, we're going to have more wins than losses."

The triumph gave New Jersey (40-18-6) an 11-point lead over the Penguins (33-20-9) in the Atlantic Division race, 86-75.

"We're not worried about it, but we can't give up hope. We just have to make sure we're getting points, no matter where that puts us in the division. We just have to make sure we put some wins together and get some point," Crosby said. "With the way we played last game, we wanted to bounce back with a better effort. I thought we had a good work ethic. We played well. We didn't finish our chances.

Evgeni Malkin's NHL-best home rookie point streak came to a stop at 14 games.

"He is the best goaltender and he's always in the right position," he said via translator George Birman. "It's frustrating when we had some chances and didn't score goals, but what can you do when you play against the best goaltender?

"It is hard to play against that team."

Jamie Langenbrunner got the Devils on the scoreboard 33 seconds into the second period with a power-play goal. His shot sailed past a screened Marc-Andre Fleury for the New Jersey goal.

That was enough to give New Jersey the victory.

Despite the goal, Fleury was sharp in the Penguins net. He stopped 24 of 25 shots.

"Marc-Andre was really good just like the rest of the team. That's a good sign," Therrien said. "I think it's been a good week for him. I was anxious to see how he was going to bounce back. He was really good. He was square to the puck and played with a lot of confidence. I really like the way that he played."

The Penguins return to action Thursday in New York against the Rangers.

ICE CHIPS: Ronald Petrovicky was the Penguins' scratch...The announced attendance was 17,006...Martin Brodeur (No. 1), Jamie Langenbrunner (No. 2) and Marc-Andre Fleury (No. 3) were the game's three stars.


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