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Crosby, Malkin lead Pens past Devils

Mar 26, 2012 - 3:56 AM
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin each posted a goal and an assist as the Pittsburgh Penguins posted a 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils.

The Penguins moved to 100 points on the season, their third straight 100-point campaign. The team is one back of the New York Rangers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference as both teams have seven games to play.

Pascal Dupuis, Jordan Staal and Chris Kunitz each added a goal and an assist for the Penguins, who have won three of four and bounced back from Saturday's 8-4 loss to Ottawa. Marc-Andre Fleury allowed two goals on 34 shots for his 41st win of the season, a new career-high.

"They played well and we knew it was going to be a tough game," said Crosby. "But to bounce back and win this game the way we did after giving up eight goals felt good."

Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk each had a goal for the Devils, who have lost four of five. Martin Brodeur allowed four goals on 27 shots in the loss.

"I don't think we competed as hard as they did," said Broduer. "That gave them the edge over us. I don't think it was a bad game because we played decent, just didn't have enough."

New Jersey sits in the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference, six points behind Philadelphia and four ahead of Ottawa.

Pittsburgh took the lead just 64 seconds into the game when Brodeur had the puck stripped off of him behind the net by Malkin, who centered it to Kunitz for a one-timer and a 1-0 lead.

Just over four minutes later, the Devils tied the game thanks to a miscue by Crosby. A dump in saw Fleury play the puck behind the net and send it over to Crosby, who then sent the puck out front where Parise was waiting for the easy goal into the empty net.

The Penguins, though, took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission when Matt Cooke sent a pass from the left boards to the inside left circle where Staal brought the disc back to the forehand and snapped a wrister in with under a minute to play.

It was a 3-1 game after the Penguins got the only goal of the second period when Crosby fired a shot on the fly from the right circle that saw Dupuis clean up the garbage in front.

At the 3:37 mark of the third, the Devils made it a one-goal game after Travis Zajac sent a pass from the right circle to the low left side where Kovalchuk had an easy slam for his 32nd of the year.

Crosby, though, got the goal back just over a minute later. Earlier in the game, Crosby had used a tip move to get the puck past New Jersey defenseman Marek Zidlicky and go in on a breakaway, but he was stopped.

He used the same move again, though, on Zidlicky and this time he buried his chance with a wrister through the five-hole of Brodeur for a 4-2 lead.

Malkin sealed the win with 1:32 to play and the net empty for his 46th goal of the season.

Game Notes

Malkin leads the NHL with 97 points...New Jersey hosts Chicago on Tuesday...The Penguins begin a home-and-home set with the Islanders in Pittsburgh on Tuesday...Each team won three games in the season series...Pittsburgh went 0-for-4 on the power play while New Jersey was 0- for-2.