National Hockey League
Pittsburgh 3, New Jersey 2
When: 7:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 19, 2021
Where: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
Referees: Pierre Lambert, Justin St. Pierre
Linesmen: Ryan Daisy, Bryan Pancich
Attendance: 14857

Mike Matheson's third-period goal held up as the winner Sunday, giving the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins their seventh straight win, 3-2 over the reeling New Jersey Devils in Newark, N.J.

Teddy Blueger and Danton Heinen also scored for the Penguins. Pittsburgh goaltender Tristan Jarry made 17 saves to improve to 10-1-1 in his past 12 starts.

Janne Kuokkanen and Nathan Bastian scored for the Devils, who chased the game from the start and lost their sixth in a row. Goaltender Jon Gillies, making his New Jersey debut and playing in his 14th career game, made 19 saves.

The Devils were back to a full lineup after playing a man short the night before as Jesper Bratt returned from a non-COVID illness.

Pittsburgh got the only goal of the first period. Blueger broke up a pass near the blue line from Jack Hughes and chipped it past Dougie Hamilton for a breakaway. His forehand shot went between Gillies' pads for a 1-0 lead, his fifth career short-handed goal.

The Penguins had been one of three teams without a short-handed goal this season.

Heinen increased Pittsburgh's lead to 2-0 at the 1:03 mark in the second period. Marcus Pettersson, from the far boards, set up Heinen in the right circle, and his shot went in off the far post.

New Jersey pulled to within 2-1 on Kuokkanen's goal, which came shortly after Heinen's. His first goal since Nov. 11 came on a deft move. Ty Smith took a shot from the right point, and Kuokkanen, with his back to the net, deflected it past Jarry.

Matheson restored the Penguins' two-goal lead at the 9:31 mark of the third period. With Sam Lafferty providing an effective screen, Matheson scored far side from the top of the left circle to make it 3-1.

Bastian cut the deficit to a single goal moments later, with a power-play score at 11:12 of the third. In front, he tipped in a shot from the top of the slot by Hamilton.

That broke Pittsburgh's streak of 39 straight successful penalty kills, dating to Nov. 14. Still, the Devils couldn't muster up another goal to pull even with the Penguins.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Pittsburgh   New Jersey
Teddy Blueger 1 Points Nathan Bastian 1
Teddy Blueger 1 Goals Nathan Bastian 1
Marcus Pettersson 1 Assists Dougie Hamilton 1
N/A Power Play Goals Nathan Bastian 1
Teddy Blueger 1 Short Handed Goals N/A
Tristan Jarry .895 Save Percentage Jon Gillies .864
Tristan Jarry 17 Saves Jon Gillies 19
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Pittsburgh 22 3 0-2 4-5 14 21
New Jersey 19 2 1-5 2-2 8 20
Upcoming Games
  • New Jersey will play their next game on the road against Pittsburgh. The Devils have a W/L % of .300 after a win and .350 after a loss.
  • Pittsburgh will play their next game at home against New Jersey. The Penguins have a W/L % of .647 after a win and .462 after a loss.