You, in your right mind, shouldn't have watched this game. At least not the third period, which the Devils hit with a 2-1 lead and all the trapping glory of their 1990s selves ready to turn the neutral zone into your leftover christmas dinner gravy. That they did, adding one more in the third to take the game by a 3-1 final.
Sidney Crosby scored the Penguins' only goal.
The Penguins entered the contest with fewer NHL bodies than AHL names and played like it, dropping their third straight game in regulation. Pittsburgh is now 0-3-1 in its last four.
New Jersey collected its first win under the new head coaching trio of Lou Lamiorello, Scott Stevens and Adam Oates. Travis Zajac and Adam Henrique also scored for the Devils.
There's really only so much to parse out of these games now, as every mounting loss can't be traced back to anything except half of a missing starting lineup. Playing without Patric Hornqvist, who was lost with a lower body injury in the Pens' last game against Washington, Pittsburgh saw another rookie enter the lineup in Dominik Uher, giving them five rookies and six skaters who began the season with AHL Wilkes-Barre Scranton.
- The power play went 0 for 3, and is just 3 for its last million attempts.
- Fleury has surrendered 3 or more goals in four straight losses, and has started seven straight, including five in the last nine days with back-to-back starts in that span. Overload to blame?
- Crosby scored to help alleviate some of that "he's bad now" talk. Thank god, no?
Here's a big one -- the Pens surrendered 3 or more goals for the fourth straight game. We wrote about what Ehrhoff and Martin, both out of the lineup, have meant to this team. Their absence is probably the straightest line you can draw from first place to four straight losses.
Since their last game played against the Avalanche, the Pens are 1-3-1 and have allowed 3 or more goals in four straight losses. In their only win during that combined absence, the Pens surrendered 45 shots on goal.
Talk all you want about the young talents and the need for cap space, this is why you pay more for useful veterans.
Next game is Wednesday against Carolina.
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