PITTSBURGH, P.A. — It took two weeks, but the New Jersey Devils (3-1-3) players seemed to pick the same day to play bad, collectively, for the first time in 2013.
In a 5-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins (5-3-0), the Devils hung around until the third period, when the Penguins, who took over possession of first place in the division, ripped in three goals to hand the Devils their first regulation loss this season.
Although the loss is the Devils first in regulation, it’s their fourth straight overall after losing three consecutive overtime games. The current skid has cost the Devils serious ground in the division, with Pittsburgh jumping them into first place today, earning points nine and 10.
One of the few Devils’ players who was solid today was goalie Martin Brodeur. Aside from giving up five goals, Brodeur kept New Jersey in the game early, and he finished with 25 saves. Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was just as good for Pittsburgh, stopping 15 shots on his way to the Penguins first home win of the season.
After falling behind 2-0 on goals from Brandon Sutter and Chris Kunitz, the Devils fought back to tie the game on a short-handed goal from defensemen Andy Greene. Dainius Zubrus made a good play in the offensive zone, spinning around and throwing the puck right on Greene’s stick, and he made one deke and back-handed a shot past Fleury.
New Jersey is still seeking its first win since Jan. 22, when it beat the Philadelphia Flyers, 4-3, in overtime.
If there is a positive from today, it’s that the Devils penalty kill held off all three of the Penguins power play chances. On Thursday, the Devils allowed three power play goals in a 5-4 overtime loss to the New York Islanders.
The Devils will be on the road again tomorrow, taking on the Islanders at 3 p.m. The Devils are 1-0-1 against New York so far this season.