February 4, 2018 / 3:02 AM / 9 months ago

Zajac scores twice as Devils dump Penguins

Travis Zajac had two goals and an assist for his first three-point game of the season, and the New Jersey Devils pulled away for a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Blake Coleman finished with a goal and an assist as the Devils won their third game in a row. New Jersey outshot Pittsburgh 38-16.

Evgeni Malkin scored in a losing effort for the Penguins. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for Pittsburgh, which had tallied 21 goals in its previous four games before running into the Devils.

New Jersey goaltender Keith Kinkaid stopped 15 of 16 shots to improve to 10-4-2. He has won five of his past six starts.

Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith made 35 saves while dropping to 3-3-0.

Zajac gave the Devils a 1-0 lead 30 seconds into the second period. He ripped a wrist shot into the back of the net for his sixth goal of the season and his first since Jan. 7. That snapped a nine-game goal drought for the 32-year-old.

Less than three minutes later, New Jersey increased its lead to 2-0 on a close-range wrist shot by Coleman. After the Penguins committed a turnover in their defensive zone, Devils forward Stefan Noesen slid a pass near the right side of the crease for Coleman, whose shot ricocheted off DeSmith and into the net for his sixth goal of the season.

Pittsburgh trimmed the deficit to 2-1 on a backhand shot by Malkin with 13:44 to go in the third period. Cole fed Malkin on a breakout for his team-leading 29th goal of the season and his eighth goal in the past four games.

Zajac scored again to make it 3-1 with 10:09 left in the third period. He entered the game with only two multi-point outings and one multi-goal performance this season.

Neither team scored on the power play. New Jersey was held scoreless during three opportunities, while Pittsburgh was 0-for-1 on the man advantage.

New Jersey improved to 15-8-3 on its home ice. Pittsburgh dropped to 10-15-2 on the road.

—Field Level Media

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