for this game

Ruutu scores twice as Penguins extend points streak

Feb 17, 2007 - 5:56 AM EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- A potential laugher turned into quite a nail-biter for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Jarkko Ruutu scored twice and Sidney Crosby added a goal and an assist as the Penguins built a three-goal lead and withstood a late comeback attempt to post a 5-4 victory over the New Jersey Devils.

With his 26th goal of the season, Crosby broke a career-high eight-game drought.

"It felt nice," said the league's leading scorer, who has 90 points. "It's nice to kind of get that monkey off your back. Hopefully, it won't be another eight."

Defenseman Rob Scuderi and rookie Jordan Staal also tallied and Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves for Pittsburgh, which extended its winning streak to five games and its stretch of consecutive contests with at least one point to 15 (13-0-2).

Ruutu got the Penguins on the board 3:02 into the game, when he steered defenseman Josef Melichar's shot from the left point past goaltender Martin Brodeur for his fifth goal of the season.

Scuderi doubled the lead just 2:17 later, ending a 110-game goalless drought with his first tally since March 7, 2004. With Fleury pulled for an extra attacker during a delayed penalty call, Scuderi unleashed a shot from the right point that appeared to change direction after hitting a Devils player and eluded Brodeur.

Staal made it 3-0 with his 24th goal with just under two minutes left in the first period, beating Brodeur to the stick side from close range off a feed from behind the net by Michel Ouellet.

The 18-year-old Staal has eight tallies in his last seven games.

"You know your team is deep when your best player is not scoring and we're still winning games," Staal said.

The Devils broke through at 7:29 of the second period, when defenseman Brian Rafalski rifled a wrist shot from the top of the right faceoff circle past the blocker of Fleury.

Crosby restored the three-goal bulge just under three minutes later, scoring 12 seconds into a power play with a wrist shot from the right circle that went between Brodeur's pads.

Captain Patrik Elias needed just over two minutes to pull New Jersey within 4-2, lifting a backhander over Fleury's blocker for his 20th tally.

But 4:20 later, Ruutu scored his second of the game, whacking the puck under Brodeur's pads. The play withstood a video review, as it appeared Dominic Moore narrowly missed pushing it in with his skate.

"I took the initial shot, Jarkko got the rebound and then both my stick and (another) stick got a touch on it," Moore said. "There was nobody's skate that it hit. I don't know who got the final touch."

Ruutu registered just the second two-goal game of his career and his first since November 13th, 2001 while with Vancouver. The agitating left wing has just 29 tallies in 323 career contests.

With the Devils on a power play, Zach Parise converted a rebound at 2:38 of the third for his 23rd goal to once again slice the deficit to two. Rookie Travis Zajac's long slap shot from just over the blue line on the right side went off the webbing of Fleury's catching glove, over the netminder's head and into the net to make it 5-4 with 11:10 remaining.

"I knew I gave up a bad goal," Fleury said.

"Finally in the third, we got some momentum, played a little better and didn't give up much," Brodeur said. "We didn't get quality chances like we used to against these guys. They were disciplined most of the game. These guys have been playing with fire the last few games, losing a lot of leads, allowing a lot of goals. When you're hot offensively, it makes up for how you play sometimes."

Fleury withstood a flurry in the final minute to secure the win for Pittsburgh, which posted an 18-game points streak in 1992-93, when it won an NHL-record 17 straight games before concluding the season with a tie at New Jersey. He did not have to face a shot after Zajac's goal until the final minute.

"That was composure, the guys were playing the system," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "We gave up two weak shots at the end, but the last (few) minutes, we didn't give up a scoring chance. That was good on our part."

Melichar registered two assists for the Penguins, whose last four victories have been one-goal decisions.

Rafalski and Elias each added an assist and Scott Gomez set up a pair of goals for New Jersey, which saw its lead over Pittsburgh in the Atlantic Division shrink to five points. The Devils played without leading scorer Brian Gionta, who has a groin injury, and rugged defenseman Colin White, who is out with an "upper body" ailment.

"When you're missing guys like Gio and Whitey, it hurts," Devils right wing Jamie Langenbrunner said. "But we're not going to use it as an excuse. We have guys that played very well in their absence. We had some chances in that last minute to score. You've got to like the way we battled in the third period and gave ourselves a chance in the end."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 3 2 0 5
    NEW JERSEY 0 2 2 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - JARKKO RUUTU 5 (JOSEF MELICHAR, MARK RECCHI) 3:02
    PIT - ROB SCUDERI 1 (JOSEF MELICHAR, SIDNEY CROSBY) 5:19
    (WITH EXTRA ATTACKER)
    PIT - JORDAN STAAL 24 (MICHEL OUELLET, EVGENI MALKIN) 17:54
    2ND PRD: NJD - BRIAN

    Feb 16 9:57 PM
  • 20
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 15 roots

    Penguins vs. DevilsFeb 16 9:53 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 5
    NEW JERSEY 4
    3RD PRD: NJD - TRAVIS ZAJAC 11 (SERGEI BRYLIN, JOHNNY ODUYA) 8:50

    Penguins vs. DevilsFeb 16 9:39 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 5
    NEW JERSEY 3
    3RD PRD: NJD - (PP) ZACH PARISE 23 (JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER, PAUL MARTIN)
    2:38

    Penguins vs. DevilsFeb 16 9:30 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 3 2 5
    NEW JERSEY 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - JARKKO RUUTU 5 (JOSEF MELICHAR, MARK RECCHI) 3:02
    PIT - ROB SCUDERI 1 (JOSEF MELICHAR, SIDNEY CROSBY) 5:19
    (WITH EXTRA ATTACKER)
    PIT - JORDAN STAAL 24 (MICHEL OUELLET) 17:54
    2ND PRD: NJD - BRIAN RA

    Feb 16 9:06 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 5
    NEW JERSEY 2
    2ND PRD: PIT - JARKKO RUUTU 6 (DOMINIC MOORE, COLBY ARMSTRONG) 16:52

    Penguins vs. DevilsFeb 16 9:03 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 4
    NEW JERSEY 2
    2ND PRD: NJD - PATRIK ELIAS 20 (BRIAN RAFALSKI, SCOTT GOMEZ) 12:32

    Penguins vs. DevilsFeb 16 8:52 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 4
    NEW JERSEY 1
    2ND PRD: PIT - (PP) SIDNEY CROSBY 26 (SERGEI GONCHAR) 10:27

    Penguins vs. DevilsFeb 16 8:49 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 3
    NEW JERSEY 1
    2ND PRD: NJD - BRIAN RAFALSKI 5 (SCOTT GOMEZ) 7:29

    Penguins vs. DevilsFeb 16 8:43 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 3 3
    NEW JERSEY 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - JARKKO RUUTU 5 (JOSEF MELICHAR, MARK RECCHI) 3:02
    PIT - ROB SCUDERI 1 (JOSEF MELICHAR, SIDNEY CROSBY) 5:19
    PIT - JORDAN STAAL 24 (MICHEL OUELLET) 17:54
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    ---

    Feb 16 8:11 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 3 3
    NEW JERSEY 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - JARKKO RUUTU 5 (JOSEF MELICHAR, MARK RECCHI) 3:02
    PIT - ROB SCUDERI 1 (JOSEF MELICHAR, SIDNEY CROSBY) 5:19
    PIT - JORDAN STAAL 24 (MICHEL OUELLET) 17:54
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    ---

    Penguins vs. DevilsFeb 16 8:11 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 2
    NEW JERSEY 0
    1ST PRD: PIT - ROB SCUDERI 1 (JOSEF MELICHAR, SIDNEY CROSBY) 5:19

    Penguins vs. DevilsFeb 16 7:47 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 1
    NEW JERSEY 0 16:00 LEFT, 1ST PRD

    Penguins vs. DevilsFeb 16 7:43 PM
  • 5
    roots
    JackStraw Added 5 roots

    Penguins vs. DevilsFeb 16 11:37 AM