Three Stars: 1. Kyle Palmieri 2. Scott Wedgewood 3. Damon Severson
The Devils are 5-2-0=10pts over their last seven games and improved to 36-31-7=79pts on the season. The club has already surpassed its win/point total from all of 2014-15 (32-36-14=78pts).
New Jersey finished 2-2-0 in its season series vs. Pittsburgh and snapped a five-game losing streak at CONSOL Energy Center (last win, Feb. 10, 2013, 3-1).
The Devils are 4-3-0=6pts over their last seven road games and are 19-16-3=41pts away from Prudential Center overall.
Tonight’s contest was the third in a stretch of five straight games vs. Metropolitan Division opponents. The Devils are 11-15-2=24pts vs. the Metro overall and are 5-9-0=10pts on the road.
Tonight’s contest opened the club’s 12th and final set of back-to-back games. The Devils finished 5-6-1=11pts in first games and are 5-4-2=12pts in second games when playing on consecutive dates.
The Devils were 1/3 on the power play tonight and are 3/10 (30.0%) over the past three games.
Pittsburgh outshot New Jersey, 39-24, including 15-6 in the third period.
Scott Wedgewood stopped all 39 shots he faced to record the first shutout of his career in his second NHL start. He becomes the first Devils’ rookie goaltender to record a shutout since Mike Dunham on Apr. 6, 1997 at St. Louis (25 saves). Wedgewood is 2-0-0 and has stopped 66/67 shots in his first two starts.
Wedgewood’s 39 saves are the most-ever by a Devils’ goaltender in his first NHL shutout (2nd, 28, Keith Kinkaid, Feb. 14, 2016 vs. Los Angeles & Dunham, Dec.16, 1996 at Calgary).
Kyle Palmieri scored 0:26 into the game to give the Devils a 1-0 lead. The goal was New Jersey’s fastest to start a game this season (tie, Lee Stempniak, Dec. 6 vs. Florida). It was Palmieri’s fourth game-winning goal of 2015-16.
Palmieri then scored a power play goal at 13:08 of the first to put the Devils ahead 2-0. It was Palmieri’s third multi-goal game/11th multi-point effort of the season. He has points in a career-high (tie) four consecutive games (4g-3a-7pts) and has 6g-6a-12pts over the last ten contests. Palmieri leads the Devils with a career-high 11g-10a-21pts on the PP & a career-high 29g-23a-52pts overall.
Adam Henrique scored his 27th goal of the season at 9:57 of the third. He has 4g over the last four games and 8g over past ten contests. Henrique needs just 1pt. to reach 200 in his NHL career (95g-104a-199pts).
Reid Boucher recorded 2a for his fourth multi-point game of the season. He has points in a career-high (tie) four straight games (2g-3a-5pts), has 2g-5a-7pts over the past eight contests and 7g-10a-17pts in 32 appearances overall.
Damon Severson registered his third multi-point game of the season with 2a tonight (1PPA). He now has 7a over his last ten appearances and leads Devils’ defensemen with a career-high 19a/20pts this season.
Travis Zajac posted the primary assist on Palmieri’s first goal, his team-leading 27th helper of the season. He now has 3g-5a-8pts over the last ten games. Zajac ranks fourth on the club with 12g-27a-39pts this season.
Devante Smith-Pelly collected the secondary assist on Henrique’s goal. He now has points in six of the last seven games (5g-3a-8pts) & has 7g-4a-11pts in nine games with New Jersey. Smith-Pelly had 6g-6a-12pts in 46 appearances with Montreal prior to being traded to the Devils on Feb. 29.
Blake Pietila made his NHL debut after being emergency recalled from Albany (AHL) yesterday. He tied a team season-high with eight hits in 12:17 of action (also, Jordin Tootoo, Feb. 6 vs. Washington).