NEWARK, N.J. -- With so many opportunities on the power play Saturday afternoon, the New Jersey Devils were bound to come through eventually.
They did -- twice.
Adam Henrique and Bobby Butler each scored power play goals in the final 10 minutes of the game to lift New Jersey to a 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in front of an announced sellout crowd at Prudential Center. The Devils have won four in a row to take over first place in the Atlantic Division from the Penguins, who had their five-game winning streak snapped.
Henrique, who missed an open net during a power play in the second period, scored with 9:04 left and Butler got his first goal as a Devil just 2:12 later. Stefan Matteau also scored his first career NHL goal late in the second period as the Devils erased an early 1-0 deficit to take the first game in their weekend home-and-home against the Penguins.
Martin Brodeur made 24 saves for his sixth win of the season. Marc-Andre Fleury's personal three-game winning streak came to an end as he gave up three goals on 28 shots.
Pittsburgh and New Jersey are back at it Sunday at Consol Energy Center (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).
If the Penguins want to avoid getting swept this weekend they'll want to keep the penalties down. They were whistled for 12 minor penalties Saturday, giving the Devils 10 power-play opportunities.
New Jersey was 0-for-5 through two periods, but Henrique and Butler scored on back-to-back power plays, giving the Devils six power-play goals during their four-game winning streak.
Henrique scored off a rebound after Butler's shot from above the right circle rang off the right post and came right out to Henrique on the left side. Fleury didn't have enough time to react before Henrique sent to the puck into the open net.
Butler scored just more than two minutes later from only a few feet inside the right circle. He received a pass from Andy Greene and beat Fleury with a low shot.
Greene also had the primary assist on Matteau's first career NHL goal, which got the Devils even at 1-1 with 3:29 left in the second period. Until that point, Brandon Sutter's power-play goal just 83 seconds into the game was the difference.
However, Matteau scored from the lower part of the right circle after Greene found him with a perfect diagonal slap pass from the left point. Greene appeared to fool Fleury as well as the Penguins' goalie bit on the defenseman, thinking he was going to shoot, and couldn't get over in time to stop Matteau from depositing the puck into the open net.
Matteau, whose entry-level contract kicked in when he played his sixth game of the season Thursday against Tampa Bay, came into the game with no points and just three shots on goal.
Pittsburgh, though, was nearly inches away from taking the lead again just before the end of the second period thanks to a potentially costly decision by Brodeur to go retrieve his stick in the corner after the Devils' penalty killers cleared the zone.
As Brodeur was getting his stick, Fleury raced the puck up the ice to Evgeni Malkin, who tried to shoot into the open net from the right point. The puck first hit Brodeur's left skate as he was trying to get back to the crease. It then bounced off the left post and rode down the goal line before Brodeur was able to play it from his knees on the right side.
Brodeur was laughing as the period came to an end. Malkin's long-range shot would not have counted as a goal because a member of the Penguins was still in the offensive zone so they were whistled for offsides.
Sutter scored from in front on a deflection of Simon Despres' slap shot from the left point during Pittsburgh's first power play of the game. Malkin and Sidney Crosby started the game on a line together with Chris Kunitz and that trio was able to pressure the Devils and force a tripping penalty on David Clarkson, who brought down Malkin 44 seconds into the game.
The Devils had chances to not just tie the game, but take a lead as the Penguins gave them three power-play chances in the first period and another two in the second. However, New Jersey was 0-for-3 with just one shot in the first period and, despite a better looking power play in the second, it couldn't convert.
Henrique had the Devils' best chance for a power-play goal when Steve Bernier found him on the right side with a cross-crease pass, but Henrique's shot went through the blue paint and wide left of the goal with 8:26 left in the second period.
New Jersey had seven shots on goal during its two power-play opportunities in the second period.
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