NEWARK, N.J. -- Center Adam Henrique scored 1:38 into the game and right winger Michael Ryder netted a goal early in the second, fueling the New Jersey Devils' 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday at the Prudential Center.
Goalier Martin Brodeur made 19 saves in notching his second victory of the season against the Penguins (29-12-1), who received 28 saves from goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
The Devils (17-16-8) scored a goal and lost veteran winger Patrik Elias in the first four minutes of action, but managed to take a 2-0 lead in the second period with the help of Brodeur, who was credited with his 44th career assist on the goal by Ryder.
Henrique scored his ninth goal with a well-placed finish of a pass from left winger Ryan Clowe. Henrique made a quick move to get past the final Pittsburgh defender and then scooped a shot over the left shoulder of Fleury. Ryder was credited with an assist on the goal.
A few minutes later, the Devils lost Elias after he was knocked to the ice by Pittsburgh left winger Tanner Glass. Elias was face down on the ice and didn't move until medical personnel reached him. He got up slowly to his knees and then managed to skate off. He did not return.
Brodeur cleared the puck to Ryder to start a rush to the other end and, when Ryder lost the puck inside the blue line, Henrique recovered it and sent it back into the middle, where Ryder beat Fleury to score his 12th goal of the season at 2:45.
The Penguins answered at 6:58 of the second to make it 2-1 on a goal by defenseman Matt Niskanen, his fourth. Niskanen's received a pass from center Sidney Crosby and one-timed a shot from the right circle that beat Brodeur to the glove side. Crosby picked up his 23rd assist on the play. Left winger Chris Kunitz also had an assist for Pittsburgh on the goal, his 22nd.
The opening minutes were hectic for Brodeur as well. Kunitz blasted a slap shot that bounced off the right shoulder of Brodeur. Seconds later, Kunitz missed a chance at an open net with Brodeur down on far side of the goal.
The Devils had a chance to add to their lead when right winger Stephen Gionta stole the puck at mid-ice and had a breakaway chance that Fleury turned aside at the near post.
NOTES: Devils G Martin Brodeur picked up his 44th career assist in the second period on a goal by R Michael Ryder. ... C Sidney Crosby had an assist in the second period to give him nine goals and 23 points for the month of December and has now produced a point in 13 of the last 14 games for Pittsburgh. That was his 59th point, which leads the NHL. ... R Jaromir Jagr has 1,722 career points, one behind former Pittsburgh teammate Mario Lemieux for seventh on the all-time list. Jagr also has 694 career goals, tying him with Mark Messier for No. 7 on the all-time goals list. ... The Devils' shootout loss to Columbus last Friday was New Jersey's 10th straight, dating back to March 15 at Philadelphia. The Devils are 0-6 this season in the shootout. The Detroit Red Wings hold the NHL record with 11 consecutive shootout losses.