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Devils stop Pens' winning streak at 6

PITTSBURGH — Kyle Palmieri scored twice in the first period and Scott Wedgewood stopped 39 shots for his first career shutout as the Devils ended the Penguins' winning streak at six with a 3-0 victory Thursday.

Palmieri, who has set career highs with 29 goals and 52 points, scored twice in the first period, and Wedgewood held off the high-scoring Penguins until Adam Henrique sealed the win for the Devils with his 27th of the season midway through the third period.

New Jersey has won five of seven.

The Penguins ended a run of nine straight games against Metropolitan Division opponents at 7-2-0. They remained four points behind the second-place Rangers in the division, and one point ahead of the Islanders, who hold the Eastern Conference's first wild card spot.

Devils starting goaltender Cory Schneider hasn't played since injuring a knee March 4. He has returned to practice and could play next week.

Wedgewood spent the season in the ECHL and mainly the AHL before an emergency recall this week. He allowed one goal in his NHL debut against the Blue Jackets on Sunday, stopping 27 shots to become the first Devils goaltender to win in his debut since Martin Brodeur in 1992.

Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby saw a 12-game point streak come to an end. Crosby scored six goals and 20 points during a streak that was the longest active in the league.

Palmieri opened the scoring 26 seconds into the game on a breakaway. He took a pass from Travis Zajac off the boards and squeezed a wrist shot through Fleury's pads to give the Devils the lead.

Palmieri scored 8 seconds into a Devils power play later in the period as his slap shot from the left point beat Fleury to the glove side.

Game highlights: Vince Trocheck and Jussi Jokinen each had a goal and an assist, Roberto Luongo made 34 saves and the Panthers took over first place in the Atlantic Division from the Lightning with a 4-1 win over the host Bruins. Boston, in third in the division, lost its sixth straight. … The Ducks clinched a playoff berth by getting a point in a 6-5 overtime loss to the host Maple Leafs. Nazem Kadri scored the winner 41 seconds into the extra period for Toronto, which moved out of last place in the league, to 29th. … Elias Lindholm, Victor Rask and Chris Terry each scored goals within 1:38 of each other in the third period, Eddie Lack made 42 saves and the Hurricanes beat the host Blue Jackets 3-2. Sergei Bobrovsky finished with 21 saves for the Blue Jackets.

Around the league: Blue Jackets forward Jared Boll was suspended for four games for interference against Flyers forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare on Tuesday. Boll was assessed a major penalty for interference and a game misconduct for the blind-side hit in the second period. He's considered a repeat offender under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.

Devils 2 0 1 3
at Penguins 0 0 0 0
Devils 2 0 1 3
at Penguins 0 0 0 0

First Period1, New Jersey, Palmieri 28 (Zajac, Boucher), :26. 2, New Jersey, Palmieri 29 (Severson, Boucher), 13:08 (pp). PenaltiesGionta, NJ (slashing), 2:13; Bennett, Pit (holding), 13:00; Farnham, NJ (cross-checking), 15:28.

Second PeriodNone. PenaltiesMoore, NJ (high-sticking), 11:24; Schultz, Pit (hooking), 13:30.

Third Period3, New Jersey, Henrique 27 (Severson, Smith-Pelly), 9:57. PenaltiesLetang, Pit (hooking), 3:01. Shots on GoalNew Jersey 11-7-6—24. Pittsburgh 14-10-15—39. Power-play opportunitiesNew Jersey 1 of 3; Pittsburgh 0 of 3. GoaliesNew Jersey, Wedgewood 2-0-0 (39 shots-39 saves). Pittsburgh, Fleury 32-17-6 (24-21). A18,610 (18,387).

Hurricanes 0 0 3 3
at Blue Jackets 0 1 1 2

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesHanifin, Car (high-sticking), 10:10.

Second Period1, Columbus, Calvert 8 (Prout, Dubinsky), 17:35. PenaltiesMalone, Car, major (fighting), 2:26; Foligno, Clm, major (fighting), 2:26; Lindholm, Car (roughing), 9:22; Dubinsky, Clm (roughing), 9:22; Carolina bench, served by Nash (too many men), 12:05; Lindholm, Car (roughing), 18:45; Atkinson, Clm, served by Hartnell, double minor (roughing), 18:45.

Third Period2, Carolina, Rask 17 (Hanifin, Skinner), :52. 3, Carolina, Terry 8 (Slavin), 2:19. 4, Carolina, Lindholm 10 (Staal), 2:30. 5, Columbus, Jenner 27 (Bjorkstrand, Saad), 4:03. PenaltiesNone. Shots on GoalCarolina 6-8-10—24. Columbus 16-12-16—44. Power-play opportunitiesCarolina 0 of 1; Columbus 0 of 3. GoaliesCarolina, Lack 12-12-5 (44 shots-42 saves). Columbus, Bobrovsky 13-17-1 (24-21).

Panthers 0 2 2 4
at Bruins 0 1 0 1

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesKulikov, Fla (interference), 9:35; Kulikov, Fla (tripping), 12:25; Chara, Bos (delay of game), 14:46.

Second Period1, Boston, Spooner 13 (Vatrano, Eriksson), 7:42. 2, Florida, R.Smith 24 (Trocheck, Jokinen), 13:51. 3, Florida, Trocheck 24 (Petrovic), 18:46 (sh). PenaltiesCampbell, Fla (holding), :26; Connolly, Bos (slashing), 4:39; Hudler, Fla (goaltender interference), 17:45.

Third Period4, Florida, Jokinen 16 (Kulikov, Kampfer), 10:56. 5, Florida, Huberdeau 14 (Jagr, Barkov), 19:39 (en). PenaltiesK.Miller, Bos (tripping), 2:04; Boston bench, served by Vatrano (too many men), 8:49. Shots on GoalFlorida 5-15-16—36. Boston 15-10-10—35. Power-play opportunitiesFlorida 0 of 4; Boston 0 of 4. GoaliesFlorida, Luongo 31-18-6 (35 shots-34 saves). Boston, Rask 28-21-7 (35-32).

Playoff glance

The top three teams in each division get playoff berths. The two teams in each conference with the next-highest point totals get wild-card berths regardless of their division. Wild-card standings with points, games left (GL; fewer games played is the first tiebreaker) and regulation/overtime wins (ROW, the second tiebreaker)

East Pts GL ROW

Islanders 87 10 35

Flyers 83 10 33*

Red Wings 83 9 34*

West Pts GL ROW

Predators 87 9 34*

Wild 81 8 32*

Avalanche 80 9 34*

* — Late game not included

Devils stop Pens' winning streak at 6 03/24/16 [Last modified: Thursday, March 24, 2016 10:20pm]
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