Staal, Fleury strong in Penguins' 4-1 win against Devils
October 23, 2011 1:30 AM
Penguins' Marc-Andre Fleury dives to knock the puck away against the Islanders.
The Penguins' Matt Niskanen is hit against the boards by the Islanders' Mattias Tedenby.
The Penguins' Jordan Staal is congratulated by Matt Niskanen, Matt Cooke and Richard Park after scoring a power play goal against the Islanders.
By Shelly Anderson Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Jordan Staal scored twice and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury played a strong game for the Penguins in a 4-1 win against the New Jersey Devils tonight at Consol Energy Center.
Fleury improved to 5-2, and the Penguins (6-2-2) now have 14 points through their first 10 games despite injuries to key players.
Center Sidney Crosby has not played, center Evgeni Malkin has missed seven games, including the past five, defenseman Brooks Orpik missed the first eight games and defenseman Kris Letang returned in this game after being suspended for two games.
The Penguins notched the only goal of the first period, on a power play at 6:07. Staal, from the left hash marks, one-timed a pass from Richard Park past Devils goaltender Johan Hedberg.
New Jersey tied the game with a shorthanded goal that was odd by circumstance.
Petr Sykora, a former Penguin, was serving a double-minor high-sticking penalty, even though replays clearly showed it was the stick of New Jersey's Patrik Elias that cut the Penguins' Steve Sullivan, and Elias' number originally was announced by a referee.
With Sykora in the box, Elias scored off of a feed from Ilya Kovalchuk to make it 1-1 at 4:17 of the third period.
It wasn't clear whether the officials made a mistake or the Devils pulled a fast one, but either way the Penguins seemed to take exception and got fired up.
They regained the lead, 2-1, during the same power play when Chris Kunitz one-timed a pass from Letang over the glove of Hedberg at 3:07 of the third period.
Staal scored again -- the 100th goal of his career -- for a 3-1 Penguins lead at 4:17 of the third period. He outmaneuvered Bryce Salvador of the Devils and whipped a backhander past Hedberg.
James Neal got his eighth goal, from the bottom of the right circle, at 9:14 of the third period to push the Penguins' lead to 4-1.
The Penguins' next game is Tuesday on the road against the New York Islanders.