Zajac leads Devils past Penguins in rare road win
Travis Zajac had a goal and three assists Monday to help the New Jersey Devils break a three-game losing streak with a 6-3 win over the host Pittsburgh Penguins. Zajac has 45 points in 63 career games against the Penguins.
Damon Severson, Brian Boyle, Blake Coleman, Kyle Palmieri and Pavel Zacha also scored for the Devils, who are 3-0-0 against Pittsburgh this season. The win gave the Devils a 6-17-3 road record, the fewest road victories in the NHL. Two of the six have come against the Penguins.
New Jersey goaltender Keith Kinkaid made 37 saves to end a skid of losses in his previous four starts. Derick Brassard, Matt Cullen and Bryan Rust scored for the Penguins, who have lost four of five following a 10-1-0 stretch.
Pittsburgh was 0-for-5 on the power play and allowed a short-handed goal. Matt Murray, who was 10-1-0 in his last 11 starts preceding the All-Star break, stopped 26 of 32 New Jersey shots.
It was the teams' first game since Jan. 19 after the break. New Jersey took a 1-0 lead at 13:08 of the first period as Zajac picked up his just his third goal in the past 22 games. Murray was screened by teammate Cullen as Zajac wristed a shot past the goaltender.
Severson made it 2-0 at 14:53 of the first. Off the rush, he sailed a shot past Murray's glove. At 3:30 of the second, Boyle's short-handed goal upped the Devils' lead to 3-0. Boyle converted a centering pass from Zacha. It was the 11th short-handed goal given up by Pittsburgh, most in the NHL.
Two seconds after that Penguins power play expired, at 4:28, Brassard scored from the right circle to close the deficit to 3-1. At 12:57 of the second, Coleman restored New Jersey's three-goal lead, making it 4-1 off a three-on-two.
Palmieri's knuckler on a power play at 11:42 of the third made it 5-1. Cullen's short-handed goal 48 seconds later made it 5-2, and Zacha's power-play one-timer at 13:38 increased the margin to 6-2. Rust's goal with 1:57 left closed it out.
--Field Level Media
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