Sidney Crosby racked up three points Saturday night as the Pittsburgh Penguins rolled to a 6-3 win over the New Jersey Devils at Mellon Arena.
The victory snapped the Penguins’ four-game losing streak.
“Finally, we got a reward for a lot of hard work. Since we came back from the break, we’ve played pretty well except for the Washington game,” Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. “It’s nice to get a good start. If you look at the result, we got some nice goals. We know they played last night and it was important to get off to a good start.”
The Penguins erupted for four goals in the first period.
“We played well. There were a lot of new faces and combinations, but the guys had the right attitude about it and worried about playing their own game and doing their best,” Crosby said. “For us, everything clicked. Everyone was working together and doing the little things.”
Crosby scored 42 seconds into the game. He took Sergei Gonchar’s pass, skated through the slot and slipped a puck past Martin Brodeur.
Ryan Malone added a short-handed goal at 3:46 to give the Pens a 2-0 lead. Crosby and Gonchar had assists. Crosby deflected Gonchar’s shot. It bounced off Brodeur’s pads right to Malone, who slid it into the goal.
New Jersey got on the scoreboard when Jamie Langenbrunner’s shot rebounded off goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, deflected off John Madden’s leg and into the goal at 10:38
Pittsburgh’s Michel Ouellet retaliated 15 seconds later with a goal. Andy Hilbert and Tomas Surovy assisted on the goal.
Hilbert gave the Penguins a 4-1 lead with 2:14 to go in the period. It was his first tally in a Penguins uniform after he was claimed on waivers from Chicago on Thursday. Ouellet and Surovy had assists.
Crosby scored his second goal of the game 3:17 into the second when he tallied a power-play score. John LeClair and Malone assisted on the play.
Colby Armstrong redirected Ryan Whitney’s pass into the net 2:12 later. The goal chased Brodeur as Scott Clemmensen took his place between the pipes.
New Jersey retaliated in 18 seconds when Erik Rasmussen scored a goal to slice the deficit to 6-2.
Langenbrunner scored a goal late in the third period to cap the Devils’ scoring.
Fleury stopped 38 of 41 shots to earn the win in goal.
“Fleury was solid, especially in the second period. Our focus wasn’t there and we took some bad penalties,” Therrien said. “That’s the goaltending that we’re looking for from him. He was outstanding tonight.”
The Penguins return to action Sunday night at Mellon Arena against the Philadelphia Flyers.
ICE CHIPS: Brooks Orpik was the Penguins’ scratch. He served the third game of a three-contest suspension…Josef Melichar wore the team’s third alternate captain’s A, which was vacated Thursday when Mark Recchi was traded…The announced attendance was 16,061.