Final score: Devils 3, Penguins 1.
Why it matters: New Jersey completed its sweep of a home-and-home weekend series, winning its fifth game in a row and padding its lead in the Atlantic Division. The Penguins, who entered the weekend with a five-game winning streak, have lost consecutive games for the second time this season.
In a nutshell: The Penguins avoided the kind of penalty trouble that doomed them in Newark Saturday, being shorthanded just once, but spent far too much time playing in their own zone to be able to mount much of an attack at the other end of the ice. And when they did get some quality chances early in the game – the Penguins generated the first six games during the opening period – Devils goalie Johan Hedberg was up to the challenge.
Turning point: Ilya Kovalchuk's goal at 11:27 of the second period gave New Jersey a 2-0 advantage, and letting the Devils get a multiple-goal lead is no way to move up in the standings.
Under the radar: Devils rookie center Stefan Matteau, who scored his first NHL goal a day earlier, got less than 14 minutes of ice time, but still managed to earn an assist and record a game-high five hits.
The brightest star: Devils RW David Clarkson, who has worked to turn himself from a standard-issue fourth-liner into a top-six winger, scored his eighth and ninth goals of the season.
The last word: Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, on the Devils' ability to make his team play in its own end for extended periods: "The thing that they did really well was, they played in the offensive zone, extended shifts in the offensive zone. We spent a lot of time playing defense. When you spend 30 seconds, 40 seconds in the [defensive] zone, you just have enough energy to get off the ice. That's really what they did really well, especially the latter half of the game."
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