Penguins battle back to beat Devils, 6-3, keep playoff hopes alive

Matt Vensel, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Hockey

NEWARK, N.J. — This game, and maybe the season, looked to be just about over.

But then the Penguins dug deep for the second night in a row, scoring five goals in the third period to stun the New Jersey Devils, 6-3, at Prudential Center.

It snapped a seven-game losing streak against the Devils dating back to 2022.

More important, the win kept the Penguins within shouting distance of a playoff spot. They have gone 4-0-2 in their last six games to give themselves a chance. By beating the Devils, they left one of their competitors in the rearview mirror.

After getting dominated by the Devils in the first two periods, the Penguins dug deep in the third to tie it up with goals from Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

The Penguins finally started to tilt the ice into their favor, leading to a couple of penalties from the Devils. The Penguins cashed in on the second one. Crosby whacked a cross-crease pass from Bryan Rust past Devils goalie Jake Allen.


Sixty-seven seconds later, Malkin made it 3-3. He won a faceoff in the offensive zone then moved into the slot to deflect Jack St. Ivany’s point shot past Allen.

Rickard Rakell scored the winner with 3:44 left. Marcus Pettersson skated down the wall and made a firm pass to Rakell, who steered it into New Jersey’s net.

Malkin scored 22 seconds later to send the fans heading up the stairs, and Crosby added an empty-netter 29 seconds after that.

The Penguins were coming off one of their most impressive wins to date. With several players battling a stomach bug Monday, they gutted out a 5-2 win over the first-place New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Alex Nedeljkovic was in net for that game, too, stopping 28 shots to help the Penguins prevail.


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