Aftermath: Devils 2, Penguins 0
Wednesday, 12.30.2009 / 9:50 PM ET / Features
By Sam Kasan
|The Penguins were once again the victims of a hot goaltender. Pittsburgh played a strong game: they were physical along the boards, they passed well for quality puck movement, they transitioned strongly to create odd-man rushes and had solid goalkeeping from Brent Johnson.
However, for all the great things the Penguins did in the game, they couldn't find a way to beat Martin Brodeur. If Pittsburgh looks at the game as a whole, and the overall way it played, the players can be proud of the way they battled and competed.
The goaltender is the great equalizer in hockey and the one player that can steal a game. Tonight, Brodeur robbed the Penguins.
|NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Martin Brodeur made 32 saves for his second straight shutout against the Pittsburgh Penguins and record 105th overall, leading the New Jersey Devils to a 2-0 victory Wednesday night.|
|SHOT OF THE NIGHT|
Brent Johnson makes one of his 31 saves against New Jersey
(photo by Getty)
|What Went Well: Transition Game
The Devils were pressing hard in Pittsburgh's zone. The Penguins did a great job of creating opportunities off of rushes, thanks to their quick transition game. Pittsburgh generated quite a few odd-man attacks after turnovers with fast passes up ice.
What Could Have Gone Better: Solving Brodeur
Martin Brodeur has been nearly impenetrable this season against the Penguins. He has allowed only two goals in four games versus Pittsburgh, and stopped all 32 shots to post his second shutout against the Penguins in the current campaign.
|Brent Johnson did everything that the Penguins asked for from their netminder. He turned aside 31 of 32 shots faced and was a vault in net.
Johnson was particularly strong when the Devils were pressuring and attacking the crease. He stood his ground, stayed in proper positioning and flashed great reflexes. Johnson deserved better than to get an "L" but he can keep his head high because he gave his team a chance to win.
|The Devils scored the all-important first goal. Niclas Bergfors, who has had six points (3G-3A) in three games against Pittsburgh entering the game, gave New Jersey a lead 1:48 into the game when his bad-angled shot from the near low wall sneaked into the netting. New Jersey 1, Pittsburgh 0.
New Jersey sealed the game on Jamie Langenbrunner's empty-net score with only 12 seconds left in the game. New Jersey 2, Pittsburgh 0.
|Pittsburgh made an interesting change on its blue line. With all seven defensemen healthy, head coach Dan Bylsma sat down Jay McKee instead of Martin Skoula - the normal seventh defenseman.
Two Penguins received good news earlier in the day as Sidney Crosby and Marc-Andre Fleury were named to the Canadian Olympic team, which will compete in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.
|> Pittsburgh dropped to 26-14-1 on the season with a 13-7 mark on the road.
> Scoring Summary:
NJ, N.Bergfors (13), 1:48 1st period: Devils 1, Penguins 0
NJ, J.Langenbrunner (9), 19:48 3rd period: Devils 2, Penguins 0
> The Penguins are now 44-17-5 in the regular season since head coach Dan Bylsma took over. They have a record of 21-9-3 on the road.
|THREE STARS||QUOTE OF THE NIGHT|
|"Both teams fought hard for their chances.
They got the early one and that was really
the difference in the game."
- Sidney Crosby
Author: Sam Kasan