Penguins Score Five in Third for a 6-3 Comeback Against the Devils | 4/2/2024

Photo via Pittsburgh Penguins

The Devils took on the Penguins on Tuesday, April 2nd at the Prudential Center in hopes of making a comeback after their 5-2 loss in Buffalo on Friday. However, the Penguins took the spotlight when they scored five goals in the third period after trailing New Jersey 3-1. This was Pittsburgh’s second straight win, their first had been against the New York Rangers on Monday when they defeated them 5-2. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin scored two each for the Penguins in their five-goal third period for a 6-3 final. With Pittsburgh’s victory, they moved within three points of the Washington Capitals, who have one game in hand, for second into the wild card in the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. The Penguins will be visiting the Capitals on Thursday, and the Devils will be visiting the Rangers on Wednesday.

Penguins lineup against the Devils:

Smith – Crosby – Rust

Bunting – Malkin – Rakell

O’Connor – Eller – Puustinen

Puljujarvi – Carter – Bemstrom

Joseph – Letang

Pettersson – Karlsson

Shea – St. Ivany

Nedeljkovic

Blomqvist

Devils lineup against the Penguins:

Meier – Hischier – Bratt

Hughes – Haula – Holtz

Palat – Nosek – Mercer

Willman – Tierney – Lazar

Hughes – Smith

Bahl – Marino

Siegenthaler – Nemec

Allen

Kahkonen

   Erik Karlsson had given Pittsburgh the 1-0 lead early at 12:06 of the first period with his ninth goal of the season. He scored from above the right face-off circle, a wrister that had hit Erik Haula and deflected in off the skate of Simon Nemec in the slot. Later into the first with 16.6 remaining, Timo Meier tied the game at 1-1 for his 25th of the season and his 14th goal in the past 16 games. Meier sent a one-timer that ended up deflecting in off Marcus Pettersson’s stick.

   At 10:18 of the second, Curtis Lazar gave New Jersey their first lead of the game when he sent a snap shot from just outside the crease over Alex Nedeljkovic’s glove. This had been Lazar’s seventh goal of the season. With 2:13 remaining in the middle frame, Jesper Bratt struck on a partial breakaway for the 3-1 lead with a wrist shot low blocker side to record his 25th of the season.

   Sidney Crosby cut it to 3-2 at 13:12 of the third on the power play when he tapped in a pass from Bryan Rust, hitting Evgeni Malkin near the right post. Crosby extended his point streak to six games (five goals, nine assists)… His 14 points since the 24th of March rank first in the league. Not long after, Malkin tied it to 3-3 for his third goal in the past four games when he deflected Jack St. Ivany’s shot between his legs. Both goals came in 67 seconds, Pittsburgh has an overall record of 385-87-46 when both Crosby and Malkin record a point in a game. Rickard Rakell gave the Penguins a 4-3 lead with a redirection off a shot by Marcus Pettersson and past Simon Nemec… Malkin struck his second of the night just 22 seconds later with another deflection, and Crosby scored an empty-netter for his 39th goal of the season with 2:53 left in regulation for the 6-3 final.

Sidney Crosby on the spark in the third period and coming back from being down two goals: “I think just desperation. I think we knew it was going to be an uphill climb there, but it was good to get one on the power play… Just putting pucks to the net. ‘Geno’ comes up with a huge tip, and then ‘Raks’ and Geno again. So, I thought we really got a lot of momentum there and built off it,” – “I think that helps. Hopefully, we’re not putting ourselves in that situation, but when we do, we’ve got to find ways and we did a great job of that, especially in back-to-back games. Against a team like that, that’s solid. We earned that one.”

Jack St. Ivany on his first NHL point and playing with the Penguins: “It feels awesome. I’m probably more excited about the win than the point, but I’ll take it – That was a pretty awesome play… pretty cool guy to be assisted the goal,” – “It’s been really cool – the first little bit, I was a little starstruck. They’ve all just been really good guys and really nice to me, which makes it a lot easier for me to play with them, a lot more fun.”

Timo Meier on the third period and frustration: “I just think we stopped making plays in the third. I thought we almost looked like we were scared after they scored – that’s not how you want it to go. Playing on our heels, and then they’re obviously going to make a push in the third. We didn’t handle it well,” – “It’s frustrating, one hundred percent. We played a good game for 40 minutes, and then it was the last period where we pretty much gave it away. It sucks but we got a game tomorrow so, the guys got to learn from this right away.”

Jonas Siegenthaler on returning to the lineup: “I would say a little rusty at the beginning, but it was fine. It’s just hockey, I can practice as much as I can, but you never feel the same in a game. I was kind of prepared for that so, it was good.”

Notes:

– All three of Evgeni Malkin’s points came in the third period, becoming the fourth Penguins player with at least 20 three-point periods. He joins Mario Lemieux (74), Jaromir Jagr (33), and Sidney Crosby (24).

– Sidney Crosby has recorded a total of 92 points (41 goals, 51 assists) in 85 career games vs. New Jersey. He ranks first in scoring among all active players.

– Alex Nedeljkovic made 23 saves for Pittsburgh, and Jake Allen made 15 saves for New Jersey.

  Nedeljkovic had started for a second game straight due to Tristan Jarry being unavailable as he was out with an illness.

– Both Nico Hischier and John Marino recorded two assists.

– Luke Hughes recorded an assist, moving him into sole possession of second place in rookie scoring. He’s only behind Connor Bedard, who’s led all rookies the whole season.

– The Devils are six points behind the Washington Capitals in the wild-card race.

– New Jersey had been outshot 9-5 in the third period after they had a 21-12 advantage through the first two periods.

– In 17:52 of ice time after missing the previous nine games, Jonas Siegenthaler had two shots on goal.

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