PITTSBURGH — Last week the Pittsburgh Penguins (12-7-4) dominated the New Jersey Devils (7-10-4) in all phases but the scoreboard and lost 2-1. Friday night, Penguins again overwhelmed New Jersey but this time the scoreboard reflected the puck work. Two quick goals in the third period by Jared McCann and John Marino broke open the game and the Penguins beat New Jersey 4-1 Friday at PPG Paints Arena.
The Penguins puck domination at 5v5 resumed in the first period. The Penguins took seven of the first nine shots of the game and 17 of the first 21 shots.
Seven minutes into the game, the Penguins executed a textbook forecheck after losing the offensive zone faceoff. Before New Jersey could move the puck, the Penguins pounced and created a turnover.
Dominik Kahun (6) darted from the halfwall to the net and roofed a pretty backhander over Mackenzie Blackwood.
Penguins winger Zach Aston-Reese’s bad luck continued. The winger who is struggling to score and had gone 16 games without a goal, clanged a shot off the crossbar in the first period. Aston-Reese had a goal waved off Tuesday night due to a video challenge for offside.
New Jersey didn’t let the Penguins get a two goal lead, however. Just as the Penguins dominated the first, New Jersey took 13 of the first 17 shots in the second period.
Early in the second period, New Jersey tied the game as the Penguins gave up another power-play goal. It was the third power play goal in two games. Taylor Hall (3) was uncovered and swooped in for a rebound in the left wing circle.
However, the Penguins transition game course corrected in the second half of the second period. The Penguins generated several odd-man rushes which culminated in a perfect breakout and stretch pass from Evgeni Malkin to Jake Guentzel for a breakaway goal.
Guentzel (11) deked Blackwood to the backhand and the Penguins controlled the remainder of the second period.
The Penguins pitch forked New Jersey early in the third period. Brandon Tanev creates turnover in the New Jersey zone and Jared McCann (8) was the late trailer who ripped a shot past Blackwood’s earhole.
Just 25 seconds later, defenseman John Marino (2) jumped forward to the circle to also blast one through traffic past Blackwood.
The Penguins led 4-1 and New Jersey was not able to mount a credible comeback.
Tristan Jarry stopped 36 shots to improve his record to 3-3-0 and raise his already impressive .938 save percentage. Blackwood did not stand on his head this time and yielded four goals on 41 shots.