Sports Network | October 11, 2010
(Sports Network) - A pair of Atlantic Division rivals will both be after their first victories of the 2010-11 season this afternoon when the New Jersey Devils host the Pittsburgh Penguins in a matinee at Prudential Center.
The Devils and Penguins have combined to win the last five division titles, but the clubs have yet to taste victory this season. Pittsburgh was dealt a pair of 3-2 regulation losses in the first two games at the team's new arena, Consol Energy Arena. The Devils lost an overtime decision to visiting Dallas on Friday before getting slammed, 7-2, in Washington the following night.
New Jersey will try to carry over last season's success against the Penguins into tonight's contest. The Devils won all six meetings versus Pittsburgh in 2009-10 and have taken seven of eight and eight of the last 10 regular-season matchups. The Pens have also dropped four in a row and five of their last six contests in the Garden State.
After losing to intrastate rival Philadelphia in the regular-season opener at their new building on Thursday, the Penguins were dealt a second 3-2 setback by Montreal on Saturday. Scott Gomez notched the game-winning goal as Montreal rallied to victory with a pair of scores in the final 2:12 of regulation. Mike Cammalleri tied the game at 17:48 and Gomez notched the decisive tally just 24 seconds later.
Evgeni Malkin and Mark Letestu scored for the Penguins, while Marc-Andre Fleury was tagged for three goals on 27 shots in defeat.
"We did some good things and had some positives out there," said Pittsburgh head coach Dan Bylsma. "But, one or two mistakes and they end up in the back of your net. They have to be corrected if you want to beat a good team."
Saturday's game marked the first meeting between the Penguins and Canadiens since last spring, when the Habs sent the defending Cup champs of 2009 home with a seven-game second-round defeat.
Following today's matchup with the Devils, the Penguins will get another chance to pick up a win at their new arena when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.
After losing 4-3 in their home opener against the Stars, the Devils were handed a 7-2 setback by Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals on Saturday night. New Jersey actually led Washington by a 2-1 score after one period, but the Caps scored four times in the second and added two more in the final period to breeze to the easy win.
"I don't know if we forgot what we were doing or what," New Jersey captain Jamie Langenbrunner said of the second period. "We made some mistakes and left some guys open that you can't leave open in some spots. They made us pay for it."
Henrik Tallinder and Jason Arnott scored for the Devils. Martin Brodeur lasted just two periods, allowing five goals on 20 shots, before Johan Hedberg finished the third period with seven saves.
Devils forward Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond will not be available for tonight's game after receiving an automatic one-game suspension for taking an instigator penalty in the final five minutes of Saturday's game.