Ilya Kovalchuk and David Clarkson scored less than two minutes apart in the second period as the New Jersey Devils beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 on Sunday night for their season-high fifth straight win.
It was the second time New Jersey beat Pittsburgh in as many games after the Devils ended the Penguins' five-game winning streak in the first of installment of the home-and-home series Saturday.
Clarkson's power-play goal at 13:20 of the second period to make it 3-0 was his second of the game and team-leading ninth goal of the season. Johan Hedberg made 23 saves and the former Penguins goalie won his first game in five starts in Pittsburgh as a member of the visiting team (1-4-1).
Tomas Vokoun made 20 saves in his first start at home and James Neal scored Pittsburgh's only goal 15 seconds into the third period. Sidney Crosby, whose season-high six-game points streak ended Saturday, was held without a point for the second straight game.
The Penguins allowed a season-low four shots on goal in the first period, but Clarkson scored his eighth goal of the season on a 2-on-1 with Patrik Elias to give New Jersey a 1-0 lead at 13:06. The Devils are 7-0-1 this season when scoring first.
The Penguins got their first power play of the game almost immediately after Clarkson's goal then another before the period was over, but could not even the score heading into the second.
Kovalchuk made it 2-0 for New Jersey at 11:27 of the second period, again on a 2-on-1, and the Devils got their first power play of the game less than a minute later when Pittsburgh left wing James Neal was called for cross-checking at 12:09.
At 13:20, Clarkson scored his second of the game to make it 3-0 for New Jersey. With Kovalchuk set up for a one-time in the left circle, Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik cheated away from the net toward Kovalchuk and left Clarkson all alone to knock in the rebound of a shot from Elias.
NOTES: The Penguins were without defenseman Kris Letang (three games) and Matt Niskanen (eight games), who are both out with lower-body injuries. . Matt Cooke appeared in his 900th NHL game, more than any other player on the Penguins. . The Devils were without Dainius Zubrus, who missed his third-straight game with an upper-body injury. . Penguins defenseman Robert Bortuzzo and Devils center Ryan Carter fought 4 seconds into the game. . The Penguins announced their 259th-straight sellout with an attendance of 18,658.