NEWARK, N.J. -- The Penguins gave up a two-goal lead and lost their second game in a row, 3-2, to the New Jersey Devils tonight at Prudential Center.
It was their second loss in as many games against a team that has been eliminated from playoff contention. The Penguins have clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Devils registered the first eight shots of the game, but the Penguins scored on just their second shot.
Matt Cooke, stationed just in front of the Devils net, knocked the puck toward goaltender Johan Hedberg, who lay back to smother the puck but inadvertently scooched the puck across the goal line to make it 1-0 at 8:52 of the first period.
The Penguins made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at 14:01 of the second period. Kris Letang's sharp stretch pass caught Jussi Jokinen, who scored from the left circle. Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury also got an assist.
New Jersey cut its deficit in half when Travis Zajac scored on a screened shot to make it 2-1 at 18:33 of the second period.
David Clarkson tied it for New Jersey, 2-2, with a power-play goal at 3:01 of the third period. He converted a feed from Patrik Elias, who was behind the extended goal line.
The Devils took the lead, 3-2, at 3:01 of the third period when Ilya Kovalchuk threw a puck toward the net and it glanced in off of the stick of the Penguins' Brandon Sutter.
The Penguins close the regular season with a game Saturday at home against Carolina.
Shelly Anderson: email@example.com, 412-263-1721 or Twitter @pgshelly First Published April 26, 2013 2:00 AM