Rust, Guentzel lead Penguins past Devils 3-1

NEWARK, N.J. — Bryan Rust and Jake Guentzel each had a goal and an assist Saturday, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins end a two-game skid with a 3-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils.

Zach Aston-Reese also scored, Casey DeSmith made 24 saves and Sidney Crosby had two assists for Pittsburgh, which won for the seventh time in nine games.

Kyle Palmieri scored for New Jersey and Scott Wedgewood made 26 saves in his second consecutive start for the Devils, who had won their previous two games.

Pittsburgh erased a one-goal deficit with two goals in a 1:36 span in the second period.

Rust gave the Penguins a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal. He converted a quick forehand-backhand deke before roofing a shot at 6:35. Guentzel and Crosby assisted on the game-deciding goal.

Aston-Reese evened the score 1-1 at 4:59 of the second period. The forward corralled a bouncing puck that eluded Devils defenders and slid a shot between the legs of Wedgewood for his sixth goal of the season. Sam Lafferty and Marcus Pettersson assisted.

The Devils failed to score on all four of their power plays, including two in the third period.

Palmieri opened the scoring at 7:19 of the first period after he crashed the net and buried a rebound. Jesper Bratt delivered a cross-ice feed to set up defenseman Sami Vatanen for a one-time blast. Bratt tied Ty Smith for a team-leading 12th assist on the play and extended his point streak to three games.

Guentzel extended the Penguins’ lead to 3-1 when he redirected Crosby’s shot past Wedgewood at 14:25 of the third period.

Penguins forward Jared McCann returned to the lineup after missing the previous six games with an upper-body injury. Brandon Tanev did not dress after warming up.


Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said center Evgeni Malkin will be considered week to week after sustaining an injury against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday. The alternate captain had an eight-game scoring streak before the injury. … Forward Jason Zucker has resumed skating since an apparent lower-body injury on Feb. 23 against Washington. … Devils forward Nathan Bastian did not play after exiting Thursday’s win with an injury and is considered week to week. … Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood did not dress for a second straight game after aggravating an upper-body injury during warmups Thursday.


The Devils have only six players (Jack Hughes, Andreas Johnsson, Damon Severson, Ty Smith, P.K. Subban and Miles Wood) who have participated in every game this season. Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust are the only Penguins players who have yet to miss a game this season.


This was Sullivan’s 400th game as coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Only Eddie Johnston (516) and Dan Bylsma (401) have spent more time behind the Penguins bench.


The Penguins and Devils finish a three-game series Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh.