Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images
Sidney Crosby (l.) battles Andrei Loktionov for a loose puck during Tuesday’s matinee.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Adam Henrique scored 1:38 into the game and Michael Ryder connected 2:45 into the second, sparking the Devils to a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.
Goalie Martin Brodeur had an assist in the game for the Devils (17-16-1) and made 19 saves in gaining his second win of the season against Pittsburgh. Marc-Andre Fleury had 28 saves for the Penguins (29-12-1)
Henrique scored his ninth goal with a nifty finish of a pass from Ryan Clowe. Henrique made a quick move into the clear in front of the net and then lifted a shot over the left shoulder of Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. Ryder was credited with an assist on the goal.
A few minutes later, the Devils lost veteran winger Patrik Elias after he was knocked to the ice by Pittsburgh’s 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 earned his 44th career assist when he started the play that led to Michael Ryder’s 1th goal of the season at 2:45 of the second. Brodeur cleared the puck to Ryder, who skated past the blue line and into the middle before losing the puck. But Henrique quickly regained possession and sent it back into the middle, where Ryder fired his shot past Fleury.
Matt Niskanen cut it to 2-1 for Pittsburgh at 6:58 of the second from the right circle off a Crosby feed that beat Brodeur to his glove side. Sidney Crosby picked up his 23rd assist of the season on the goal and teammate Chris Kunitz registered his 22nd assist on the play.
The opening minutes of the game were frenetic for Brodeur. 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 Stephen Gionta stole the puck at mid-ice and had a breakaway chance that Fleury turned aside at the near post.
NOTES: Devils goalie Martin Brodeur picked up his 44th career assist in the second period on a goal by R Michael Ryder. . 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. . 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. Devils are 0-6 this season in the shootout. The Detroit Red Wings hold the NHL record with 11 consecutive shootout losses.