Devils 4, Penguins 1 FINAL
|Bergfors recorded his first three-point game.
The New Jersey Devils are still feeling right at home on the road.
On Thursday, Niclas Bergfors had a goal and two assists and Travis Zajac
matched a career high with three assists, as the Devils iced the host Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-1.
registered his third straight game with a goal and an assist, and Andy Greene
notched a power-play goal to extend his points streak to a career-high five games. David Clarkson
added an empty-netter with 1.2 seconds left in regulation.
The red-hot Devils (13-4-0) won their seventh in a row and improved to 9-0 on the road. They can tie the 2006-07 Sabres for the longest road winning streak (10-0) to start a season when they visit Philadelphia on Monday.
Owners of a 13-2 record since starting the season 0-2, the Devils surpassed the Pens for the most wins in the Eastern Conference and tied the Capitals in points (26) for the conference top spot. New Jersey has outscored the defending Stanley Cup champions, 8-2, in two meetings this season at Mellon Arena.
made 25 saves for his fifth straight triumph. He had a key stop on Sidney Crosby in the first five minutes of the second period to keep it a 1-0 deficit, and did not have to contend with Evgeni Malkin, who missed his seventh straight game with a shoulder strain.
The Devils will try for their eighth in a row when they host the Caps on Saturday.
"It was an important game for us, definitely," Brodeur told MSG Networks. "I tried to keep what we have going. They scored the first goal; we thought we played a decent first period. We came through with a couple of big plays in the second, and after that I thought we took over. When we scored our first goal, it was a different game. They weren't as aggressive, they were playing a little tentative and we took advantage of it."
Crosby hit a couple of goal posts midway through the third period, when the Penguins were skating on their third power play of the game.
"The first one, he went on his backhand and I think it just hit my defenseman and kind of fluttered and hit the post," Brodeur said. "We got a little lucky tonight, but sometimes you need that."
Now, Brodeur wants a shot to go 10-0 on the road on Monday.
"It's important because you want to win every game," Brodeur said. "It's a great opportunity, and there's not many times you're able to write history – personally or as a team. When you have a chance to do it, we'll try to make the best. It's all about how we play, and that's what we've been focusing on. It's not really what the winning streak's all about. We know it's hard to win on the road and we really pay attention to a lot of the little details."
Pittsburgh took a 1-0 lead at 11:32 of the first period on Ruslan Fedotenko's fourth of the season. The Devils would respond with two goals in the second and two in the third.
Bergfors tied the contest with his fifth of the year, and third in the last five games. The line of Parise-Zajac-Bergfors pinned Pittsburgh deep in its own end before Parise passed to Bergfors in the slot.
The Swedish rookie ripped the puck past Marc-Andre Fleury at 13:50 of the second to tie the game at 1-1. Fleury recorded 21 saves for Pittsburgh, which suffered its fourth straight defeat.
"We told ourselves that we had to go in and start working," Bergfors told MSG. "We got a shift going there, got a good cycle, and we got that goal right away. That lifted the whole team, I think."
Bergfors has grown more and more comfortable skating with Parise and Zajac – a trio composed of three straight Devils' first-round picks (2003-05).
"First of all, they're great players," said Bergfors, who recorded his first three-point game. "They have great talent, but most of all they work hard all the time in the corners. If you're in the right spot, you're going to get the puck and get a good opportunity to do something with it. I think that goal showed it."
Greene put the Devils ahead five minutes later with the club's seventh power-play goal in the last five games. He got his third of the year with a blast from the point that caromed off the skate of Pittsburgh's Ben Lovejoy and into the net at 18:50.
Greene has two goals and four assists during his five-game points streak.
In the third, Parise staked the Devils a two-goal lead with his team-leading ninth tally of the season. Zajac deftly stripped Jay McKee of the puck at center ice, and carried into Pittsburgh territory before setting up Parise's top-shelf shot from the slot at 4:43.
Clarkson scored into the empty net for his sixth of the year and now has a goal in each of his last three games.
The Devils welcomed back Brian Rolston
, who was scratched from Wednesday's home win over Anaheim. He had 18:41 of ice time on 22 shifts and registered two shots.
• Patrik Elias
played Thursday, marking his first back-to-back appearances since returning to the lineup last Friday. The Devils' all-time leading scorer is still seeking his first point of the season, but fired four shots in 17:46 of ice time (23 shifts).
"He's OK," said head coach Jacques Lemaire. "He's got a long ways to go. Pat, you can tell with his passes, he's not what he can be. With work and focus and determination, he'll get there."
• Bergfors had a team-high six shots on goal.
• Devils have not allowed a power-play goal in seven straight games (20-20)… They have taken exactly 25 shots in each of the last three games.
|Three star selections