The three-day Christmas holiday break in the past, the Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils return to action Tuesday night at the Prudential Center to finish a home-and-home set that began with a 4-1 Penguins win in Pittsburgh last Friday.
That victory helped the Penguins (22-8-5) continue their impressive month of December. Pittsburgh has recorded at least one point in all but one of the 12 games it has played this month. The Penguins are 9-1-2 in December, a record that includes a season-high seven-game winning streak from Dec. 1-Dec. 14.
On the other side, Friday's result saw the Devils (13-14-7) continue their struggles this month. New Jersey, which had snapped a seven-game losing skid with a 4-0 home-ice win over the Philadelphia Flyers last Thursday, is just 3-7-2 in December.
"Sometimes it's good to get a mental break," Devils goaltender Cory Schneider said of the break in the schedule. "You can't forget about how it's been going or how we can do better; but I think it's also a good opportunity to take a step back, take a breath and assess where you are at, re-evaluate yourself individually, and hopefully come back with renewed energy and optimism."
This will be the third of five meetings this season between the Penguins and Devils, with Pittsburgh having won each of the first two. Last Friday, the Penguins never trailed after Sidney Crosby scored a power play goal eleven minutes into the contest. Four Penguins scored and eight notched at least one point, led by Evgeni Malkin who had a pair of assists.
Those two points recorded by Malkin give him 39 on the season, second most in the NHL. He also enters play Tuesday sitting one shy of 800 career points. << Read more...
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