The New Jersey Devils defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-1, at Prudential Center Saturday night.
Andy Greene, Adam Larsson and Jaromir Jagr (2) were the goal scorers for the Devils. Chris Kunitz scored an unassisted goal for the Penguins on a breakaway in the second period for the lone Pittsburgh tally.
When the Devils and Penguins get together in New Jersey there are a few things that are to be expected. The game will be a tight, low scoring affair and the Devils will clog up the neutral zone to limit scoring chances. The Pens can break through for some quality scoring chances, but on this night they just weren’t able to capitalize.
“They play a good, hard defensive game,” head coach Dan Bylsma said. “It’s tough to find scoring chances here. It’s a similar script in terms of fighting for those scoring chances.”
The Pens generated a number of great scoring chances. Their best opportunity came on a power play when Kris Letang received a cross-ice pass and snapped a one-timer on the goal. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, goaltender Martin Brodeur, who made 27 stops on the night, made a split pad save.
“We had our fair amount of chances, especially early on, we had some pretty good looks and didn’t score,” captain Sidney Crosby said. “When it turns into that kind of game, a bounce here, a bounce there. The one chance they capitalize on is the difference in the game. We have to find a way to bare down and get those goals.”
Kunitz, who finished with a game-high seven shots, scored his ninth goal of the season with some smarts and effort. The puck was worked to Marek Zidlicky at the Penguins blue line. The rubber hopped over his stick and Kunitz raced to pick it up.
Brodeur sprinted out of his net to challenge Kunitz on the breakaway. Brodeur got his stick on the puck, but it fluttered over his body and flipped into the netting for the goal.
SILL FINALLY DEBUTS
Forward Zach Sill made his NHL debut against the Devils. It’s been a long journey for the 25-year-old Nova Scotia native, but his road finally made it to the National Hockey League (even if for an unknown period).
Sill had to fight his way onto the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton lineups after signing as an undrafted free agent in 2009. Every season he’s had to prove that he belongs, and every year he does. It took him four-plus years of dedicated work at the AHL level to earn a recall to Pittsburgh. All that effort has paid off.
“It felt good to get my first game out of the way,” Sill said. “It was pretty special, finally getting on the ice and accomplishing that goal that you set for yourself when you start playing pro hockey. It was really nice to step on the ice for the first time with the team.”
Sill finished the game with 9:10 minutes of ice time and two hits.
Author: Sam Kasan