EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Jarkko Ruutu had two points, while Jocelyn Thibault produced a shutout as the Penguins beat the Devils, 3-0, Wednesday night in New Jersey.
Thibault turned aside all 24 shots he faced on the evening.
The win was crucial for the Penguins (39-21-10), who now trail New Jersey (42-20-8) by four points in the Atlantic Division standings.
Ruutu found the back of the net with 2:42 left in the second period. Sidney Crosby sent him a twirling drop pass along the near boards. Ruutu, just in front of the end line, fired a pass to the front of the net. The puck deflected off a Devils defender and sailed into the goal.
Erik Christensen gave the Penguins a 2-0 lead with 10:29 left in the game. From the right face-off circle, Ruutu fed a pass to Christensen and he rifled a one-timer past Martin Brodeur's glove. Alain Nasreddine added an assist.
Jordan Staal scored with 2:36 to give the Penguins a 3-0 lead. Evgeni Malkin fed a pass to Staal in front of the net. He worked his way around Brodeur and lifted a backhander into the net. Michel Ouellet added an assist.
The Penguins return to action Friday at home against Montreal.