NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Travis Zajac had a goal and an assist, and Cory Schneider made 26 saves as the struggling New Jersey Devils beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 on Monday night.
Jaromir Jagr and Adam Henrique also scored for the Devils, who won for only the second time in 10 games (2-5-3).
It was also New Jersey’s first win in two games since general manager Lou Lamoriello fired coach Pete DeBoer on Friday and joined new coaches Scott Stevens and Adam Oates behind the bench as part of a three-man committee.
Sidney Crosby scored for the Penguins, who have lost four straight. Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves.
The Devils slowed the tempo at the start to a pace they could handle.
It all changed on Crosby’s dazzling goal.
Swinging around defenseman Andy Greene, Crosby whipped a backhander under the crossbar to make it 1-0 at 14:37 of the first period. It was just the second goal in 13 games for the star center.
That ignited the Penguins, who started pouring on the shots. Schneider made a pad stop on Chris Kunitz before denying Derrick Pouliot’s drive from the right wing following a setup pass from Evgeni Malkin.
The Penguins outshot the Devils 9-7 in the first.
Momentum swung New Jersey’s way in the second when the Devils took a 2-1 lead on goals by Zajac and Jagr.
Zajac pulled New Jersey even with a power-play goal at 5:33, swiping home the rebound of Marek Zidlicky’s point shot.
It was Zajac’s first goal since Nov. 22. He was scoreless in eight games since and missed eight more because of a groin pull and a case of the mumps.
Schneider kept it 1-1 late in the period with a point-blank stop on Kunitz’s power-play shot.
Jagr gave the Devils the lead shortly after the penalty expired, snapping in a shot from the right circle with 1:20 remaining.
Henrique put the Devils up 3-1 at 5:32 of the third, jamming the puck in with Zajac getting an assist.
Fleury stopped Jagr’s breakaway bid several minutes later.
NOTES: Both teams added players from their AHL farm teams. New Jersey recalled forwards Stefan Matteau and Joe Whitney from Albany, and Pittsburgh summoned D Brian Dumoulin from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. … The Penguins scratched G Thomas Greiss (mumps), D Scott Harrington and RW Steve Downie (mumps). The Devils scratched Matteau, D Seth Helgeson and C Jacob Josefson. … The Devils saluted Scott Gomez before the game for having played in his 1,000th NHL game on Saturday. … Devils forward Jordin Tootoo and Penguins defenseman Robert Bortuzzo fought twice in the second period. Tootoo was seeking retribution for Bortuzzo’s hit on Jagr in the team’s previous meeting. Bortuzzo was suspended two games for that infraction.
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