Penguins 5, Devils 1

John Perrotto, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins, favorite to win the Stanley Cup this season by many analysts, finally have a home win.
Sidney Crosby had two goals and an assist Saturday afternoon to lead the Penguins to a 5-1 victory over New Jersey at Consol Energy Center, the Devils' first loss in regulation this year.
Pittsburgh (5-3) won its first home game in three tries after listless efforts in loss to Toronto and the New York Islanders. Nashville is the only NHL team without a home win as the Predators are 0-0-2 at Bridgestone Arena.
Chris Kunitz added one goal and two assists for the Penguins. Rookie defenseman Robert Bortuzzo scored his first career goal, Brandon Sutter scored his first goal with Pittsburgh and Kris Letang also had a goal. Evgeni Malkin added two assists.
Marc-Andre Fleury had an uneventful day in goal as he needed to make just 14 saves against the Devils (3-1-3), who had their fourth straight defeat, the first three coming in overtime.
Sutter broke a scoreless tie at 2:27 of the second period, putting a wrist shot past Martin Brodeur following off a backhand pass from Crosby. Sutter was the Penguins' biggest offseason acquisition, coming from Carolina for fellow center Jordan Staal in a draft night trade.
Kunitz's unassisted goal at 9:56 of the second gave Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead. New Jersey's Anton Volchenkov put the puck right on Kunitz's stick on a failed clearing pass and Kunitz converted it for his second goal of the season with a snap shot.
The Devils sliced the lead to 2-1 on a shorthanded goal by Andy Greene, who slid the puck between Fleury's pads.
The Penguins put the game away with a three-goal barrage in the first half of the third period. Letang scored his second at 2:31 and Crosby's fourth at 7:11 made it 4-1. A little more than 2 1/2 minutes later, Bortuzzo scored his first goal in his eighth career game and second this season as he blasted a slap shot from the point under Brodeur's pads.
Brodeur stopped just 25 of 30 shots.
Notes: Left winger Zach Boychuck made his debut for Pittsburgh two days after being claimed off waivers from the Carolina Hurricanes. ... New Jersey defenseman Mark Fayne missed his second straight game with an arm injury. ... Rookie center Stefan Matteau was a healthy scratch for the Devils. New Jersey is deciding what to do with Matteau, who has played five games. If Matteau plays in a sixth game, it would count as one full year on his three-year entry-level contract. ... Kunitz was in the lineup after missing practice Friday because of an illness. ... Healthy scratches for Pittsburgh were centers Dustin Jeffrey and Eric Tangradi and defenseman Ben Lovejoy. ... This was the first of three games between the Penguins and Devils in a nine-day span. They play back-to-back at New Jersey on Feb. 9 and at Pittsburgh on Feb. 10.

What to Read Next