Penguins hold on for 3-2 victory over Devils

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 13, 2013 at 9:43 pm •  Published: December 13, 2013
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PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins put together a fast start Friday night, and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury took care of the rest.

Fleury made 30 of his 37 saves over the final two periods, helping Pittsburgh hold on for a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils.

"We weren't giving them much (at the beginning); I was getting a little lonely back there," said Fleury, who improved to 12-2 at home. "But they didn't quit. They kept coming out after us. It was nice to hold on and get the two points."

Pascal Dupuis scored 41 seconds into the game, and Chris Conner and Jayson Megna also scored in the first for Metropolitan-leading Pittsburgh, which has won seven of eight. The Penguins also extended their home winning streak to seven games.

Patrik Elias and Dainius Zubrus scored 56 seconds apart early in the second period, but New Jersey dropped to 1-4-1 in its past six.

After Pittsburgh took a 3-0 lead into the first intermission, the Devils controlled the remainder of the game. But Fleury was sharp.

Perhaps his best saves came on Steve Bernier — twice, with a pad and then his stick while sprawling — with 14:40 to play in regulation. Fleury then denied Damien Brunner on a partial breakaway minutes later.

"He's going to tell you it's nice to be able to get a lot of shots and flurries and action at his net," Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said. "But I think he'd just assumed not have grade-A chances on him at key points of the game - especially in the third period."

The Penguins survived a frenzied final push by New Jersey, avoiding the fate of allowing a goal to an opponent that had its goalie pulled for the third game in a row.

"We took our foot off the pedal in terms of how we played and how we executed with the puck," Bylsma said. "We were a little careless in how we managed the puck."

Dupuis' goal set the tone, coming off a misplay by Devils goaltender Cory Schneider.

Chris Kunitz carried the puck into the zone and flipped a fluttering puck on net as he crossed the blue line. Schneider had trouble covering it, and Dupuis eventually poked it in for his fifth of the season.

"Obviously, just an inexcusable goal," Schneider said. "That can't happen at this level. It's not fair to my teammates to put them down 40 seconds into the game."

Conner then made it 2-0 at 7:55 when Brandon Sutter sprung him alone in the slot and he used a wrist shot beat Schneider for his second goal of the season.



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