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Snap Shots: Penguins 4, Devils 3

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Pittsburgh Penguins

Thoughts, musings, and observations from the Penguins 4-3 win against the Devils at the Prudential Center. 

* The Pens finally broke the curse of New Jersey. Pittsburgh avoided being swept by the Devils in the regular season for the first time since the 2009-10 season (6-0) with a 4-3 victory.

* The Pens deserve a lot of credit for fighting back against New Jersey. The Pens fell behind by 1-0 and 2-1 scores. They used a three-goal outburst to take a 4-2 lead that they would not relinquish. Given that Jersey has had the upper hand all season, there had to be a sense of "here we go again" when the Devils took their leads. But the Pens didn't fold; they punched back. And landed a solid upper cut.

* After getting four goals from their defensemen on Sunday, the Pens got another tally from the blue line. This time it was thanks to Chad Ruhwedel.

Ruhwedel unleashed an absolute bomb from the mid-point that rose and then dipped off the lower crossbar and in. The clank was so loud you could hear it back in Pittsburgh.

Video: PIT@NJD: Ruhwedel pots first goal of the season

* Ruhwedel has been the ultimate team player this season. As the seventh and eighth defensemen, he hasn't seen a lot of action. Prior to appearing in the past four games, it had been nearly three months since he last played a game. Tonight was just his 15th game of the season, and he was scratched for 37-straight contests. 

Ruhwedel never complained. He never raised an issue. Ruhwedel went about his business, kept working, kept preparing for his chance to get back in the lineup. That day has come. Ruhwedel earned his time, and earned that goal.

* And speaking of offense from the blue line, a Pens' defenseman figured in on three of the team's four goals.

* Pittsburgh did an excellent job of working the points. The Devils are a team that collapses in the defensive zone. So if you don't use your points, then you're basically playing 3-on-5. The Pens utilized their defensemen, used the D-to-D pass and the defensemen took shots when available. 

* Zach Aston-Reese's dad was in the crowd tonight. So of course Zach scored a goal. If his dad came to every game, Aston-Reese would have 82 goals this season. Or at least it seems that way.

* Tanner Pearson was back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the past two games. You could see a new determination in his game. He was skating hard, battling on the boards and at the net. He drew a penalty and was creating offense.

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