Posted October 03, 2013 on
AP on Fox
New Jersey Devils
New York Islanders
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 28 shots for his 250th NHL victory and franchise-record 24th shutout, and Sidney Crosby scored in Pittsburgh's two-goal first period to lead the Penguins to a 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night in the season opener for both teams.
Chuck Kobasew and Craig Adams added goals for the Penguins, who took control early.
Kobasew and Crosby scored less than four minutes apart in the first, and Adams made it 3-0 midway through the third to celebrate his 800th career game in style.
Cory Schneider made 18 saves for the Devils. Schneider's start marked the first time in 19 years Martin Brodeur didn't play in the season opener for New Jersey. Brodeur is expected to start Friday at home against the New York Islanders.
Rather than head in a different direction after a disappointing four-game sweep at the hands of the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference finals last spring, the Penguins fortified the core that has been together for five occasionally brilliant seasons.
Pittsburgh signed stars Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang to long-term extensions, brought back Dupuis, and added two years to coach Dan Bylsma's contract.
The only alterations to the roster were minor. Defenseman Rob Scuderi returned to Pittsburgh four years after helping them win the franchise's third Stanley Cup title. Kobasew earned a spot following a solid training camp, and 19-year-old rookie Olli Maatta did enough to stick around -- at least for a bit -- while Letang recovers from a lower-body injury.
Kobasew wasted little time making an impact, scoring 9:26 into the season when he jammed in a rebound of Brandon Sutter's shot.
Crosby doubled the lead a few minutes later when he and Pascal Dupuis created a two-on-one. When the New Jersey defenseman slid over to cover Dupuis, Crosby wristed a shot over Schneider's glove.
It was all the insurance Fleury would need. The Penguins stuck with the former No. 1 pick following a second straight flameout in the playoffs, believing he and veteran Tomas Vokoun made up the best tandem in the league.
But that duo will be split up for at least three months as Vokoun recovers from blood clots discovered early in training camp. The injury leaves rookie Jeff Zatkoff as the lone backup, meaning Fleury will almost certainly be a workhorse while Vokoun recovers.
The early returns were promising. Fleury was stellar from the opening faceoff and even stopped a penalty shot by Adam Henrique late in the third period to preserve the shutout.
While the Penguins stood pat in the offseason, things are hardly as settled in New Jersey, which failed to make the playoffs last season for only the third time in 23 seasons.
David Blitzer and Joshua Harris took over as owners of the financially troubled franchise in August, and Schneider was acquired in a trade with Vancouver to take some of the workload off the 41-year-old Brodeur.
The Devils also brought in well-traveled Jaromir Jagr, taken 15 spots ahead of Brodeur in the 1990 NHL draft, four years before Maatta was born.
Playing in the newly minted Metropolitan Division, the Devils will likely have to pull a few surprises to reach the postseason. The Penguins, meanwhile, will likely only be judged on what happens in the spring.
NOTES: Penguins LW James Neal left in the first period with an injury and didn't return ... The Devils scratched D Mark Fayne, C Jacob Josefson and LW Rostislav Olesz ... The Penguins scratched D Deryk Engelland and C Joe Vitale ... The Penguins host Buffalo on Saturday.
BEST OF MAXIM
What are chances?
Crosby's goal is his 666th career point....and it comes against the Devils. Hmmmmmm. -DP
— ROOT SPORTS™ | PIT (@ROOTSPORTSPIT) October 3, 2013
Thursday was the first seriously busy night in NHL this season. Here is what we learned:Marc-Andre Fleury pulled himself together. He has been an awful postseason goaltender. He didn’t look great during the preseason. The loss of back-up Tomas Vokoun really put his start in focus. And he opened the season by shutting out the depleted Devils.Radim Vrbata can still finish. And the...
The buzz around the Pittsburgh Penguins and specifically Marc-Andre Fleury as at a high after the shutout of the New Jersey Devils on Thursday to open up the season. But what is that game worth exactly? How much should be taken from any of the first several games on the schedule? The Pens don’t play…
Tune in at 10:00 PM and subscribe to the show on iTunes.
Join hosts Casey Johnston, Nick Richter, and Ken Will on the last show of the preseason.
Twitter: @ThePensNation, @PensNation_Ken, @PensNation_Nick, @CaseyR82
Games Recap: Pens vs Devils
Marc-Andre Fleury’s Shutout
YOUR Three Stars of the Game.
PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun will miss three to six months while undergoing treatment for blood clots.
The 37-year-old Vokoun hasn’t played since the blood clots were discovered last month. Vokoun said Wednesday that he hadn’t thought about retirement yet and wants to see how the treatment plays out before making any kind of decision.
After a disappointing showing in the playoffs, Marc-Andre Fleury's season debut couldn't have gone much better.
He would appear to have another favorable matchup against the Buffalo Sabres, who haven't been able to generate much offense thus far.
The Pittsburgh Penguins try to open 2-0-0 for the third consecutive season Saturday night when they host the winless Sabres...
PITTSBURGH — Marc-Andre Fleury showed why he is the number one goalie in Pittsburgh as the Penguins rolled past the New Jersey Devils 3-0 on Thursday at the Consol Energy Center. He collected his first shutout and the Penguins first win of the season. Chuck Kobasew, Sidney Crosby, and Craig Adams scored for Pittsburgh, Kobasew […]
By: Casey Johnston (@CaseyR82)
Last Game for the Pens: Thursday, October 3rd. The Pens defeated the Devils 3-0 in their season and home opener. The Penguins got goals from Chuck Kobasew, Sidney Crosby, and Craig Adams while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all 27 of the Devils’ shots.
Last Game for the Sabres: Friday, October 4th. The Sabres fell to the Ottawa Senators 1-0. ...
Fearless leaders and all stars are what make up this Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team we've grown to know and love. Two of those, however, are in make or break years for the team. For Dan Bylsma and Marc-Andre Fleury it's time to put up or shut up.
Go ahead, read the rest »
Match-up - New Jersey Devils (0-0-0) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (0-0-0)
Road/Home records - 0-0-0 -------------- 0-0-0
TV - MSG Plus, ROOT
Puck drop - 7:00 PM ET
Season series - 0-0
Last 10: Devils 0-0-0 / Penguins 0-0-0
Projected starting goalies - Cory Schneider (NJD) vs. Marc-Andre Fleury (PIT)
Goals for/against per game
Pittsburgh - 0/0
New Jersey - 0/0
You have to start somewhere, and this was a good place for the 2013-2014 season to start. Too many times, the roles have been reversed in this type of game. Usually the Devils shut the Pens down, get some ****** goals, and go home. Not this time.
The Pens (and Marc-Andre Fleury) were aided largely by the fact that the Devils are terrible.
This game was close for...
Welcome back to 2013-14 NHL Preseason Previews and Predictions, where Sport Statricity gives you an in-depth look at the upcoming NHL season. We’ve already finished up the division previews (which you can find here), so let’s take a look at the NHL awards. Here’s the last one: The Hart Memorial Trophy.
Okay, maybe not technically a “preseason” preview any more, but I promised...
Despite not having playoff hockey for the last seven years fans of the Edmonton Oilers don’t seem to mind forking over their hard earned dollars to watch their beloved team play during the regular season. According to Secondary ticket marketplace Vivid Seats the Oilers have the 7th highest ticket prices across the league heading into this new season.
The report states that the...
Photo By: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images North America
As the Penguins enter a new season, these are a few things that are on our minds for 2013-14.
Assuming Tomas Vokoun is out for a lengthy period, what do the Pens need to do to ensure that they stay competitive for the 20+ games that Zatkoff may play?
Andy Hughes: The Penguins’ goaltending situation is obviously an issue. With...
If you didn’t pay attention to any hockey between the Devils final game of the 2013 season and the first game of this season, you’d swear nothing has really changed. Sure, some of the names and faces are different but it’s the same result, a BIG FAT ZERO!!
The Devils were sloppy in the first and must have gotten a stern lecture in-between the first and second periods because...