Frustrated Pens take it out on Devils
Malkin scores two goals while Murray makes 17 saves on road
The Pittsburgh Penguins weren’t happy with the way they played in a loss to Calgary, and they took it out on the New Jersey Devils a day later.
Evgeni Malkin scored two goals and the Penguins took advantage of a couple of defensive lapses by New Jersey and the absence of All-Star goaltender Cory Schneider in posting a 6-1 victory on Sunday night.
“It was a really good game for us,” said Nick Bonino, who added a goal along with Matt Cullen, Bryan Rust and Scott Wilson. “The last time we were in this building we kind of did what we did yesterday and had a bad game and a bad effort. With the Devils, if you get a couple of goals early, it opens them up a little bit, and when they need to press for goals, we were able to take advantage of it.”
Backup goalie Matt Murray made 17 saves as the Penguins rebounded from a lackluster 4-2 loss to Calgary at home.
“Six goals is a lot,” Malkin said. “But again, we were mad yesterday and we came ready to play tonight.
Kyle Palmieri scored his 25th goal of the season for New Jersey, which got more bad news after the game when it was disclosed that Schneider sprained his right knee Friday night and will be out at least two weeks. He had limited Pittsburgh to six goals in the last six meeting.
Keith Kinkaid made 24 saves replacing him.
“It’s just an off day for me, and it’s not the best game to have an off day when you have an opportunity like this,” Kinkaid said.
The win was the Penguins’ fourth in six games and it moved them into seventh place in the Eastern Conference, a point ahead of Detroit, which lost to Chicago. The loss was the eighth in 10 games for New Jersey, which is six points out of a playoff spot with 15 games left in the regular season.
The Penguins decided this one in the opening 21:37, taking a 3-0 lead.
Malkin and Cullen scored 38 seconds apart roughly halfway through the first period to stake Pittsburgh to 2-0 lead, and Bonino scored on a rebound at 1:37 of the second to put it in command.
“They are a hard-working team, especially at home,” Penguins defenseman Kris Letang said.
“They have a hard-checking game and they are tough to play against, so it was as big a response (for us) as you could ask for.”
Devils enforcer Jordan Tootoo picked up an instigator penalty for a fight with Tom Sestito at 7:49, and Malkin put the Penguins ahead with a blistering one-timer from the right circle at 9:14 after exchanging passes with Sidney Crosby.