On Thursday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins rode the 24th career shutout by Marc-Andre Fleury to a 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils at Consol Energy Center in the season opener for both squads.
Fleury made 27 saves in picking up his 250th career win in the National Hockey League. He denied Devils’ center Adam Henrique on a penalty shot with a right-pad save with 3:59 to go in the third period to close out the victory.
Recently-signed right wing Chuck Kobasew got the Black and Gold on the scoreboard first at 9:26 of the first period. Brandon Sutter fired a shot into the middle of New Jersey goaltender Cory Schneider’s crest and Kobasew grabbed the rebound and slid the puck into the net.
Sidney Crosby scored 1:53 later on a 2-on-1 rush alongside Pascal Dupuis. The captain roofed a wrist shot past Schneider’s glove. Dupuis picked up his 200th career assist on the goal.
Right wing Craig Adams, in his 800th NHL game, added an insurance goal off a feed from Evgeni Malkin with 8:18 left on the clock in the third period.
Schneider made 18 saves for New Jersey. It marked the first time in 19 years that Martin Brodeur did not play in the season opener for the Devils. Brodeur is expected to be between the pipes on Friday at home against the New York Islanders.
Pittsburgh, the NHL’s highest scoring team the last two seasons, took just 21 shots while New Jersey had 27 on the night. The Penguins generated just nine shots over the final two periods.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will host the Buffalo Sabres at Consol Energy Center on Saturday night.
From The Clipboard: Penguins’ center Joe Vitale and defenseman Deryk Engelland were the healthy scratches…Left wing James Neal left in the first period with an injury and did not return for the rest of the game…Crosby won 15 of his 22 faceoffs…Fleury is the ninth active goaltender to reach 250 wins.