The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Pro

April 26, 2013

Devils slip past Penguins for 3-2 victory

NEWARK, N.J. — Patrik Elias wanted to get a win in the Devils’ home finale.

Elias had two assists in New Jersey’s 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday.

The 37-year-old Elias is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, so it could have been his last home game for the only team he’s played for in his 15-year career.

“I think they (the Devils’ management) are already making decisions for next year,” Elias said after his team erased a two-goal deficit to go over the .500 mark (19-18-10) for the season and 13-9-2 at home.

“They have their right to take their time in making the decision. I don’t know what’s going to happen. It was great to get a win for the home crowd. We have great fans. I wish we were going back to the playoffs again. We’re not and that’s the way it goes.”

The Devils, the defending Eastern Conference champions, were eliminated from playoff contention for only the third time in the past 20 years.

“We weren’t giving up,” Elias said. “The fight was not over.”

Ilya Kovalchuk scored his first goal since suffering a shoulder injury last month, breaking a 2-2 tie with 6:10 remaining in regulation, giving the Devils the victory.

Kovalchuk took a nice pass from Steve Sullivan and shot it toward the net. On the play, the puck seemed to deflect off Pittsburgh center Brandon Sutter, but Kovalchuk was credited with his 11th goal of the season, past Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

It was Kovalchuk’s first goal since March 13. It was Kovalchuk’s shoulder injury March 23 that sent the Devils reeling, losing 10 straight games and falling out of the playoff race.

“I knew I didn’t score for a long time, like more than a month ago,” Kovalchuk said. “We were desperate to get a win and worked really hard to get it.”

After Pittsburgh took a 2-0 lead, the Devils got goals from Travis Zajac and David Clarkson to tie the game, setting up Kovalchuk’s winner.

Johan Hedberg made 15 saves in his first start since March 19 for his sixth win of the season.

“It was nice for me and the whole team to get a win,” Hedberg said. “We were able to give our fans something to cheer about. We’re disappointed we’re not going to the playoffs, but we wanted to finish as strong as possible. It’s about as good of a feeling we can ask for, especially coming back from 2-0 down and getting the win.”

Fleury had 29 saves for the Penguins.

Penguins star Sidney Crosby missed his 10th straight game with a broken jaw, but he was cleared by medical personnel to return to hockey-related activity.

Crosby has played in 36 games, but has 56 points.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma was not happy with his team’s effort.

“We would have liked to be able to make importance of the game, but that’s not the case,” Bylsma said.  “I don’t like giving up the lead the way we did. I don’t like giving up a power-play goal late.

“Those are situations we’ve been good at all year. We certainly want to play well the last few games and we’re looking to play well, but that didn’t happen.”

The Penguins had already wrapped up the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs and are awaiting their first round opponent.

“It’s not unlike every other year, not knowing who you’re playing,” Bylsma said. “It’s one of three teams. It’s nothing out of the ordinary. We’ve already begun preparations to play any of the three.”

Matt Cooke scored a goal in the first period and Jussi Jokinen added one in the second period for the Penguins.

NOTES: Devils defenseman Eric Gelinas made his NHL debut and the 21-year-old rookie was given the start by coach Peter DeBoer. Gelinas, the team’s second-round draft pick in 2009, suffered a broken jaw when he was hit with a puck in the mouth while playing for Albany of the AHL in October. He was recalled by the team to replace injured defenseman Bryce Salvador, who missed the last two weeks of the season due to an injured wrist. ... Hedberg started in net for the first time since March 19 against the Rangers.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Pro
  • Shelley and McElligot Series serves as reunion for former Chiefs personnel

    Not so long ago, Bob McElligott, like most Western Pennsylvania hockey fans, would savor a long Pittsburgh Penguins playoff run.
    The Somerset native followed the Pens’ Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1991 and 1992.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Malkin nearing return

    The Columbus Blue Jackets are the closest NHL team to the Pittsburgh Penguins, at least geographically. The two franchises are separated by 185 miles of highway.

    April 15, 2014

  • Reds swing way past Pirates

    Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night, ending Gerrit Cole's winning streak and leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that completed two days full of homers and delays.
    First, the NL Central rivals completed a game that was suspended in the sixth inning because of rain the previous night.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pirates Game 1 0415 Pirates edge out Reds in suspended game

    After all those home runs and an overnight delay, it was settled by a single.
    Andrew McCutchen doubled and came around on Russell Martin’s single in the seventh inning on Tuesday, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates an 8-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the completion of a game that spanned two days and 10 home runs.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0414 Pressure on Penguins to capture Cup

    The statistics are gaudy.
    And if the Pittsburgh Penguins can’t find a way to extend their season into the final days of spring, ultimately forgettable.
    The same team that led the NHL in man games lost due to injury (more than 500) also earned 109 points, led the Metropolitan Division from mid-October on and received another peerless effort from star Sidney Crosby, who topped the league with 104 points and is a near lock for the second MVP award of his career.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0413 Brewers sweep away Pirates

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Senators dump Penguins in shootout

    April 13, 2014

  • Pirates 0412 Brewers continue hot play

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0412 Flyers cut down Penguins in OT

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • first inning Hot Brewers sink Pirates

    Aramis Ramirez hit a two-run homer that backed Wily Peralta, and the Milwaukee Brewers extended their winning streak to seven with a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.
    Francisco Liriano befuddled the Brewers with his slider over the first three innings before Ramirez sent a 1-2 fastball over the left-field wall for a 2-0 lead.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads