CM – Penguins hold back Devils, extend winning streak to 7

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On the surface, a street game against the New Jersey Devils in mid-December is usually quite a tribute.

« I always love this question you (media) ask me, » Sullivan told the media on Sunday in Newark, N.J. “Is this the biggest game of the year? Is this a big game? My reaction to that is always the same. Yes, that’s the biggest until the next one. Then that’s the greatest.

« That’s the nature of the league today. With parity in the league, every game is so important. Every point in the table is so important. We certainly do not overlook it.  »

The Penguins definitely didn’t miss the lesser Devils when they took a hard-fought 3-2 win at the Prudential Center. This triumph extended their best winning streak of the season to seven games.

The penguins took the lead after 9 minutes and 19 seconds. Devils striker Jack Hughes, who dropped a puck at the left point of the offensive zone, attempted a poorly thought-out pass to his teammate Dougie Hamilton in the middle. Penguins striker Teddy Blueger read the sequence like a short story and broke open the pass, deflected the puck into the neutral zone, and chased it down to create his own runaway. Attacking the net, Blueger blocked goalkeeper Jon Gillies with a bunch of puck-handling maneuvers before slipping a subtle forehand shot through his five-hole. It was Blueger’s seventh goal of the season and the Penguins’ first outnumbered result in 2021/22.

It was a 2-0 game only 1:03 in the second period when Penguins striker Danton Heinen scored his ninth goal. Penguins defender Marcus Pettersson won the offensive zone on the left wing, held onto the half wall, let his teammates gain position and slipped a seam pass to the right circle for Heinen. Heinen hesitated a moment and tore a wrist ring on the other side past Gillies’ blocker.

Just 77 seconds later, the Devils were on the scoreboard. Devils defender Ty Smith took a pass in the right spot of the attacking zone and fired a wrister in the direction of the cage. Positioned deep in the right circle, Devils striker Janne Kuokkanen deflected the puck with his stick over the glove of goalkeeper Tristan Jarry on the near side to his fourth goal.

A goal from defender Mike Matheson at 9:31 of the third period gave the Penguins a 3-1 lead. After Penguins defender Chad Ruhwedel held a puck on the offensive at the right point, Penguins striker Dominik Simon Matheson fed a pass at the left point. Matheson surveyed the zone for a moment and slapped a slapper from above the left circle, past Gillie’s glove on the other side, to score his third goal. Penguins striker Sam Lafferty made a strong screen in the sequence.

The Penguins’ penalty shoot-out enabled a goal for the first time in 15 games at 11:12 of the third. From the midpoint of the offensive zone, Hamilton hit a slapper in the direction of the cage. Positioned in the slot, Devils striker Nathan Bastian steered the puck past Jarry’s glove for his fourth goal. That score stopped a series of 39 consecutive successful shorthanded sequences for the penguins.

Seth Rorabaugh is a contributor to Tribune Review. You can contact Seth by email at [email protected] or on Twitter.

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