The Pittsburgh Penguins have been on a bit of a roll lately, and are headed into the all-star break with a three-game winning a streak after a 2-0 win over the New Jersey Devils last night.
Sidney Crosby and big offseason acquisition Phil Kessel both scored for the Penguins, and Marc-Andre Fleury got his 42nd career shutout.
Not only are the Penguins on a three-game winning streak after beating the Canucks and Flyers as well, but they are a solid 9-3-4 in their last 16 games. The Devils’ own five-game streak ended with the loss.
Crosby scored on the power play in the first period and Kessel scored in the second, and the Penguins relied on Fleury to hold the fort the rest of the way. He made 25 saves on the night.
The win resulted in the Penguins leap-frogging over the Devils for the last wild card slot. Both teams have 55 points, but the Penguins have the edge because they have played two fewer games.
Kessel, acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs, was supposed to make the Pittsburgh offense the most feared in the East, presenting a positively lethal power play with Crosby, Malkin, and Kessel. However, this is only the fourth time Crosby and Kessel have scored in the same game, and the Penguins have scored just 121 goals this season, putting them ahead of just five other teams in the Eastern Conference — and four of them are at the very bottom of the standings.
However, the Penguins have looked better as of late as their latest winning streak shows — the question is whether it will carry through the rest of the season.