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Penguins-Devils Recap: Devils Knock Off Penguins to Remain in Tight Playoff Race

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The Penguins played host to the New Jersey Devils, looking for two crucial points to tie the Flyers atop the Metropolitan Division table.

NHL: New Jersey Devils at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pregame

The Penguins (36-23-4) are set to dance with the Devils (32-22-8) after their six-game winning streak was snapped at the hands of the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.

Earlier today, it was announced that Patric Hornqvist signed a long-term extension, while Matt Murray was diagnosed with a concussion.

Also, Derick Brassard has officially joined his new team and was said to be in the lineup during the morning skate.

Lineups:

1st Period

Casey DeSmith made a trading card-esque save on Pavel Zacha two-and-a-half minutes into the opening period.

Sidney Crosby broke the scoreless tie with 11:43 left in the first. A great shot by Brian Dumoulin found the blue paint for Crosby to bank the puck home for a 1-0 lead. Then, shockingly, (or not), the call was challenged for goalie interference. After review, the goal would stand.

The Devils would respond when Kyle Palmieri would get a quick snipe on the short side to tie the game at 1.

Kris Letang and Miles Wood were sent to the box for cross-checking and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties respectively for some 4-on-4 action.

With 21.4 seconds left in the first period, Conor Sheary drew a hooking call. Former Penguin, Ben Lovejoy, was the guilty party. The period would come to an end with 1:39 of carryover PP time.

Stats after one:

2nd Period

The carryover power-play time expired to resume 5v5 play. Three minutes into the period, Letang was sent to the box for slashing to stop a Michael Grabner breakaway. After a crazy shot that rang off the crossbar, the puck found the stick of Taylor Hall to give New Jersey the lead.

Brian Boyle was penalized for holding Matt Hunwick, giving the Penguins a second power-play. The penalty would be successfully killed.

Later on, Matt Hunwick would tie the game back up with a great redirection play right in front of Keith Kinkaid. The man, the myth, the legend, Matt Hunwick.

The period would come to a close with both teams heading into the locker room deadlocked at 2.

Stats after forty minutes:

3rd Period

Five minutes into the third period, Stefan Noesen would give the Devils the lead after a really weird deflection.

Not a lot of meaningful action to report throughout the final frame. The Penguins spent most of the time trying to play catch up.

As time began to dwindle, the Penguins found themselves in a race to retie the game.

The Pens would settle for the extra attacker with 100 seconds left in regulation. However, the 6-on-5 advantage couldn't get Pittsburgh the game-tying goal.

They would drop the game by a score of 3-2.

Final Thoughts

  • The Penguins’ 11-game winning streak on home ice has, sadly, come to an end.
  • Pittsburgh is now 0-2 since trading away Ian Cole and Ryan Reaves. Surely, it’s time to panic.
  • Also, don't freak out because Derick Brassard didn't score a hat-trick in his Penguins debut. Give this adjustment the time it needs.
  • Mike Sullivan probably didn't get the birthday gift he wanted.
  • The Penguins will have a chance to right the ship when they return to action on Thursday night in Beantown to battle with the Bruins.