New Jersey Devils 3 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins 1
- Attendance: 16,514 (sellout)
- Three Stars: 1. Travis Zajac – NJD 2. Blake Coleman – NJD 3. Stefan Noesen – NJD
**See @NJDevils on twitter and newjerseydevils.com for post-game pressers and sound**
The Devils defeated Pittsburgh, 3-1, at Prudential Center in the first of four games between the Metropolitan Division rivals this season (also; Feb. 27, Mar. 23 at PPG Paints Arena, and Mar. 29 at Prudential Center).
The win was the club’s first victory against the Pens in five straight games (0-4-1). In 2016-17, the Devils were 0-4-1 vs. Pittsburgh and will seek their first win against the Metropolitan Division rival since Mar. 24, 2016 (3-0).
The Devils are 7-6-1 against Metropolitan Division opponents and are 16-9-5 against all Eastern Conference competition.
The line of Travis Zajac, Stefan Noesen and Blake Coleman scored the game’s first two goals after a score-less first period in which New Jersey out-shot Pittsburgh, 13-6. At the conclusion of the game, New Jersey more than doubled the Penguins in shots, 38-16.
Both clubs were held off the scoresheet on the man-advantage: NJD (0-3), PIT (0-1).
Zajac put the Devils ahead, 1-0, notching his sixth goal of the season, just 30 seconds into the second period. It was his first goal in nine games (Jan. 7 at DAL, 2G). He also scored the third and final goal for the club during the third period for his first 3PT game of the campaign. The tallies were the 161st & 162nd goals with New Jersey/his NHL career. He needs just four goals to tie Petr Sykora (166) for seventh all-time in franchise history.
The club’s most-tenured Devil also recorded an assist on Coleman’s goal. Zajac tied Aaron Broten for the eighth-most assists in franchise history with 283 assists in his career (all with NJD). It was Zajac’s third 2PT game of the season; also Dec. 30 at WSH (1G-1A) and Jan. 7 at NYI (2G).
Zajac needs 6GP to tie Jay Pandolfo (819GP) for the seventh-most in franchise history.
For the second time, the entire offensive line of Zajac, Noesen and Coleman collected a point each on the goal. The second period ended with the Devils leading Pittsburgh, 2-0.
Blake Coleman scored the second goal, the eventual game-winner, with less than 2:30 minutes later to put the Devils ahead by two. The rookie forward has 1G-2A over the last two games. It the first two-point game of his NHL career (1G-1A).
The club’ other Plano, Texas native, Stefan Noesen, recorded assists on both Zajac and Coleman’s markers for his first ever multi-assist game. He recorded 2PT-games on two other occasions in his NHL career/ with NJD.
Keith Kinkaid made his season-high, third-consecutive start in goal for the Devils (3-0-0). He stopped 15 of 16 shots (.938 sv%) for his career-high, tenth win of the season (10-4-2). It was his first career victory in four games against the Penguins.
Coming into tonight Taylor Hall has notched at least 1PT in his last 9GP, Jan. 2-Feb. 1. (6G-8A). He added 1A tonight on Zajac’s second tally to extend the streak to his past 10 games (6G-9A).
Damon Severson collected the primary assist on Zajac’s second goal.
Monday: 11:00AM Practice at RWJBarnabas Health Hockey House
Tuesday: 11:30AM Morning Skate at Canadian Tire Centre. 7:30PM at Ottawa Senators