With the Pittsburgh Penguins following home ice in the playoffs, the place was set from puck drop. Trevor Daley added to the fire with his return to the lineup. After the announcement of Kris Letang to miss the rest of the season and postseason, it was a much-needed boost. The New Jersey Devils beat goaltender Matt Murray of the Pens at 15:01 on the 1st to make it 1-0. Penguins defenseman Cole gave the Devils the opportunity of a power play at 8:46 of the 1st, but the game kept the same score. It wasn’t until 5:36 of the 1st that Bryan Rust tied it with a rebound buried in the Devils net. Guentzel found the back of the net at 2:53 of the 1st as well, where Justin Schultz got his 50th point of the season with an assist.
For the Devils Moore scored with not even a minute into the 2nd, tying the game at 2. With 17:51 left in the period, Pens Archibald found the back of the net to break the tie. With less than a minute passed, Sheary finished a beautifully executed offensive passing clinic by the first line to make it 4-2. The Devils, however, didn’t just spectate and Hall buried it at 14:16, making it 4-3. The Penguins got the chance of a power play and capitalized with a Hornqvist goal, making it 5-3. The Devils never gave up the pace and with the dying minutes of the second Palmeri shook Murray for a goal making it 5-4 to end the 2nd with six goals in the period.
The 3rd started with fireworks as both teams scuffled and Guentzel was sent to the box at 19:18. Cullen capitalized on a beautiful pass, where he made it 6-4 before the Penguins killed the penalty. Despite the back and forth, thrilling chances the game continued 6-4 until late in the 3rd, when at 3:49 the Devils got called for roughing. The Penguins looked to stretch their lead with the power play, with a goal from Bonino that’s exactly what happened. 7-3 read the score and a victory of the jets over Colombus secured home ice in round 1 for the start of the Penguins playoff run.
Finesse at its finest. pic.twitter.com/QH0biTqosy
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 7, 2017
-All 4 lines scored for the penguins.
-The penguins scored a shorthanded goal, a couple of power play goals and even strength goals.
-Daley looked solid in his return to the ice.
“We’ve had a lot of success at home. Starting there against a team that’s good at home will def help” Bonino on gaining home ice for round 1 in the playoffs.