Series (Game 4 of 6)

New Jersey leads 6-0

Game 1: Saturday, October 24th
Game 2: Thursday, November 12th
Game 3: Monday, December 21st
Game 4: Wednesday, December 30th
Game 5: Friday, March 12th
Game 6: Wednesday, March 17th

Penguins 0

(26-14-1, 53 pts)

Devils 2

(28-9-1, 57 pts)

7:00 PM ET, December 30, 2009

Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey

1 2 3 T
PIT 0 0 00
NJ 1 0 12

M. Brodeur (Devils - G): Saves: 32, Save Pct.: 1.000

B. Johnson (Penguins - G): Saves: 31, Save Pct.: .969

N. Bergfors (Devils - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Penguins-Devils Preview


The Devils and Penguins are two of the top teams in the NHL, but New Jersey's dominance of the season series has provided a slight edge in the standings.

New Jersey looks to create some separation from Pittsburgh on Wednesday night with a fourth straight victory over its Atlantic Division rivals.

The Devils (27-9-1) are tied with Chicago and San Jose for the most points in the NHL with Washington trailing by one and the Penguins (26-13-1) by two.

New Jersey's advantage on Pittsburgh in the overall and division standings is due in large part to winning all three season meetings -- all on the road. The Devils took the most recent matchup Dec. 21, winning 4-0 behind 35 saves from Martin Brodeur, who set the NHL record with his 104th shutout.

Brodeur, who leads the league with 24 wins and ranks near the top in goals-against average (2.15), has been outstanding in the three victories versus Pittsburgh, posting a 0.67 GAA. He has limited the Penguins to one goal or fewer in five of his last six starts against them.

The future Hall of Famer will likely make his 17th straight start after turning away 24 shots in Monday's 3-2 win over Atlanta.

While Brodeur continues to be a major force for the Devils, Zach Parise is looking to build on his two-goal performance against the Thrashers, snapping a season-high 12-game drought.

"It definitely felt good for something to finally go in, and to remember what it felt like to score a goal," said Parise, the team leader with 17 goals and 42 points. "It's a funny game like that. You go through spurts where everything you touch goes in and sometimes it's the opposite. It was important to try and keep a positive attitude while it wasn't going in."

Parise has excelled against the Penguins, tallying two goals and five assists in three games. He had a season-high three assists in the last meeting.

The Devils took two of three from Pittsburgh at the Prudential Center last season.

If the Penguins are going to snap their losing streak to New Jersey, they'll need a much better performance after opening this four-game trip by giving up four unanswered goals in a 4-3 loss to Buffalo on Tuesday. The defeat came two nights after they lost by the same score to last-place Toronto.

"A three-goal lead and we didn't put it away. That's what happens when you let teams hang around," captain Sidney Crosby said after the loss to the Sabres. "We worked pretty hard and probably deserved better."

Crosby, who had an assist Tuesday, is certainly doing his part, collecting 11 goals and 11 assists over the last 12 games -- nine wins. He is tied with San Jose's Dany Heatley and Ilya Kovalchuk of Atlanta for fourth in the NHL with 23 goals, and his 47 points are fifth.

Crosby, though, has managed just two assists in the last three games against New Jersey, seeing all nine of his shots stopped by Brodeur. He had 16 goals and 16 assists in 26 meetings prior to this season.

Evgeni Malkin -- second on Pittsburgh with 38 points -- has been held without a point in two games this season against the Devils after he had two goals and six assists in six meetings in 2008-09.