Brian Boyle had a natural hat trick Monday as the New Jersey Devils broke a three-game losing streak with a 5-1 win over the host Pittsburgh Penguins, who lost their fourth straight.
Boyle, who recently announced he was in remission after being treated for leukemia, got his first career hat trick on Pittsburgh’s Hockey Fights Cancer night. He scored the final goal of the first period and the only two of the second.
Will Butcher had a goal and two assists, Travis Zajac scored, and Jean-Sebastien Dea had two assists for the Devils. Keith Kincaid stopped 35 of 36 Pittsburgh shots.
Jamie Oleksiak scored for the Penguins, who are 0-3-1 following a 4-0-0 road trip through Canada. Pittsburgh also has lost four home games in a row under coach Mike Sullivan for the first time.
Matt Murray stopped 23 of 27 shots through two periods, and backup Casey DeSmith made 11 saves on 12 shots in the third as New Jersey continually got behind the Pittsburgh defense or otherwise got positioning for high-quality chances.
Butcher got his first goal of the season, from the left side on a long rebound, to give the Devils a 1-0 lead at 2:24 of the first period.
Oleksiak tied it at 9:24 of the first on a rocket from the right point.
Boyle gave New Jersey the lead for good at 12:27 of the first, tipping in a shot by Ben Lovejoy.
In the second, Boyle made it 3-1 with a power-play goal at 7:38, this time roofing a deflection backward between his skates.
The Penguins, frustrated or trying to muster some emotion, got involved in a few tussles with 51.7 seconds left in the second, including captain Sidney Crosby throwing punches and top defenseman Kris Letang pushing and shoving.
The Devils came out of that with a power play, and Boyle sank to one knee as he scored from the right point on a one-timer with 19.7 seconds left.
Zajac swept a feed from Damon Severson past DeSmith 19 seconds into the third to make it 5-1.
—Field Level Media