NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Evgeni Malkin scored two goals and set up another to lead the slumping Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.
Evan Rodrigues and defensemen Justin Schultz and Kris Letang also scored as the Penguins won for only the third time in 11 games. Matt Murray made 20 saves to help Pittsburgh reach 40 wins for the seventh straight season and 13th time since 2006-07. The only exception was the 48-game lockout-shortened season in 2012-13.
Nikita Gusev and Miles Wood scored for New Jersey, which won its previous two games. Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 28 shots but the last-place Devils dropped to 6-3-2 in their last 11.
Malkin helped break a 1-all tie 4:15 into the second period with a cross-ice pass to Schultz for a shot from the right circle. It was his third goal of the season and first in 28 games.
After Murray stopped Kyle Palmieri on a point-blank chance during a 1:42 two-man advantage early in third, Malkin took over in scoring his 24th and 25th goals of the season.
Malkin powered through Blackwood at 7:11 for a 3-1 lead. After Wood closed the Devils’ deficit to one goal at 10:24, Malkin scored off a turnover less than three minutes later.
Letang scored into an empty net to ice the game.
Rodrigues, acquired from Buffalo on Feb. 24, scored his first goal for the Penguins with a shot from the left-side boards that deflected off the leg of Devils defenseman Matt Tennyson past Blackwood.
Gusev tied the game on a power play with 7:14 left in the period. Murray got his glove on the shot but could not prevent it from going in.
NOTES: The Penguins had not allowed a power-play goal in their last four games. … The game was the third of 10 straight for Pittsburgh against Metropolitan Division teams. … F Janne Kuokkanen, acquired in a trade with Carolina last month, played for the Devils for the first time. … Sam Laffety was back in the Pittsburgh lineup with Nick Bjugstad out with a lower-body injury.
Penguins: At Columbus on Thursday night, the second stop on a three-game trip.
Devils: Host Carolina on Thursday night.