For years, the Penguins have struggled to produce offense against the New Jersey Devils’ trapping scheme. On Tuesday night, they found their way to the net often enough, but despite landing 35 shots on goal, none of them found their way past Devils goaltender Cory Schneider, and the Pens lost, 2-0.
It was the eighth time this season that the Penguins were shut out, and the second time in the last three games. The Penguins played a strong defensive game, allowing only 19 shots to get through to goaltender Thomas Greiss.
The lone Devils shot to elude him came in late in the second period, when Michael Ryder chipped the puck past Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi to set up a two-on-one. Jacob Josefson took a look at passing to Tuomo Ruuttu, but took the shot himself and fired it off the post and in behind Greiss to give the Devils the only lead they would need.
Adam Henrique added an empty-netter at 19:11 of the third to seal the victory just moments after it appeared that Kris Letang had been tripped in the Devils’ zone, but referees Ghislan Hebert and Dan O’Rourke did not make a call.
The Penguins were unable to draw a penalty for the 10th time this season; just days after a Letang, Chris Kunitz and Steve Downie all drew misconducts against the Red Wings on Sunday.
They were able to kill off both Devils power plays, as the league’s fourth-ranked penalty killing unit got back on track after allowing a power play goal against Detroit.
Photo credit: NHL