NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Defenseman Simon Despres scored 2:21 into overtime and the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied late and beat the New Jersey Devils 2-1 on Friday night.
Chris Kunitz tied the game with a power-play goal with 3:11 left in regulation, spoiling a magnificent performance by New Jersey’s Cory Schneider, who made 41 saves.
The winning goal came after Schneider made a close-in stop on Brandon Sutton. The Penguins kept the puck in the zone and Despres’ shot from inside the blue line beat a screened Schneider.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 13 saves for the Penguins, who fell behind 1-0 when Devils forward Steve Bernier scored on a wraparound 6:08 into the third period.
New Jersey failed to tie its season-best, three-game winning streak. Pittsburgh won for the second time in seven games (2-3-2).
Schneider stopped the first 37 Pittsburgh shots and seemed on the verge of his third shutout of the season when Peter Harrold took a high-sticking penalty with 3:29 left in regulation.
The Penguins needed only 18 seconds to tie it 1-1. Sidney Crosby, who had been stopped point blank earlier in the period by Schneider on a nice setup by David Perron, took a shot from the right circle that hit Schneider in the chest. Defenseman Adam Larsson couldn’t clear the puck, and Kunitz fired the rebound into the net for his 15th goal.
Bernier had given Devils a 1-0 lead earlier with a goal that was aided by the leg of linesman Ryan Galloway.
Bernier’s dump-in into the Penguins zone hit Galloway, allowing Bernier to retrieve the puck. He skated past defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, went behind the net, came out the other side and banked the puck into the net off Fleury’s skate.
Schneider kept the Devils in the game in the opening two periods, stopping 20 shots, including a breakaway by Sutter in the first and a backhander by Crosby after a sweeping move from the corner in the second.
Crosby also hit the post with a backhander from in close. Defenseman Kris Letang also hit the post in the third period before Kunitz scored.
NOTES: Evgeni Malkin of the Penguins missed his fourth straight game with a lower-body injury. … Penguins F Chris Kunitz played in his 700th NHL game. … New Jersey’s Andy Greene played in his 196th consecutive game, tying Scott Stevens for the second longest streak by a Devils defenseman. … The Devils are 5-2-2 in their last nine games. … The Penguins snapped a five-game losing streak in New Jersey. They have won four of their past 18 games there. … The Devils’ 14 shots were their second fewest of the season, one more than they had against Detroit on Dec. 31. … The 14 shots allowed were a season-low by Pittsburgh, four fewer than Buffalo recorded on Nov. 1.
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