Taylor Hall notched the deciding goal, added an empty-netter and had two assists Tuesday to give the New Jersey Devils a 4-2 win over the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins.
Hall broke a 2-2 tie at 8:07 of the third period. Travis Zajac drew a crowd near the right point, leaving Hall open. Zajac sprang him for a breakaway down the slot, and Hall slipped the puck under goaltender Casey DeSmith’s pads.
Zajac and Damon Severson each had a goal and an assist for the Devils, who are 2-6-0 over their past eight games, with both wins coming against Pittsburgh.
Phil Kessel had a goal and an assist, Jake Guentzel scored and Sidney Crosby had two helpers for Pittsburgh, which is 1-5-1 in its past seven.
Keith Kinkaid stopped 29 of 31 shots for the Devils.
DeSmith made 31 saves for Pittsburgh. He was coming off a 39-save shutout against Arizona and made his third straight start as the Penguins give No. 1 goaltender Matt Murray time to work on his game.
Zajac gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead on the first shift of the game. Hall’s shot from the left point hit Crosby’s stick in front of the net. The puck bounced around, with Severson whacking at it and then Zajac sweeping it past DeSmith 28 seconds into regulation for his seventh goal.
At 13:57 of the first, Kessel tied it for the Penguins with a power-play goal on a back-door play off a threaded pass from Crosby. That boosted Kessel into a tie with Crosby for the team lead with eight goals.
Severson restored the Devils’ lead at 8:06 of the second. After Pittsburgh turned the puck over deep, Hall fed Severson for a one-timer over DeSmith’s blocker from the top of the slot to make it 2-1.
After Kinkaid stopped Crosby on a drive to the net, leaving the puck sitting in the crease, Guentzel swatted it in to pull the Penguins into the game’s second tie, 2-2, at 4:04 of the third.
Hall’s empty-netter came with 26.3 seconds left.
—Field Level Media