Bryan Rust and Kasperi Kapanen scored 25 seconds apart in the second period Thursday to help the Pittsburgh Penguins hand the visiting New Jersey Devils their eighth straight loss, 5-1.
Rust, Kapanen, Sidney Crosby and Teddy Blueger each had a goal and an assist, Cody Ceci also scored, and Kris Letang had two assists for Pittsburgh (30-14-3), which has won three of four.
Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry made 30 saves.
Matt Tennyson scored for the Devils (14-26-6). Goalie Aaron Dell, who came on in relief Tuesday, started Thursday but did not finish. He gave up four goals on 15 shots before being replaced by Scott Wedgewood, who made seven saves.
For the second consecutive game, Pittsburgh built a big lead against New Jersey after two periods, this time 5-1. Tuesday, it was 6-0, but the Penguins nearly blew it and ended up with a 7-6 win over the Devils.
It was different this time with a strong Penguins defensive effort.
Crosby gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead 41 seconds in on a short-side shot from the left dot.
New Jersey tied it at 12:49 of the first. Tennyson picked up his first NHL goal since Dec. 5, 2015, in a blast from the right point that dinged in off the far post.
Ceci scored at 17:46 of the first for a 2-1 Pittsburgh lead. With Zach Aston-Reese providing a screen, Ceci’s shot from near the center point sailed over Dell’s right shoulder.
Rust put the Penguins in front 3-1 at 12:03 of the second. Crosby picked off a Jack Hughes pass in the Pittsburgh end and his pass set up a two-on-one for Rust and Jake Guentzel. Rust, off a pass from Guentzel, roofed the puck.
Kapanen, in his first game after missing 13 because of a foot injury, scored 25 seconds later to push it to 4-1. His shot from the right dot went under Dell’s pads – and chased Dell for Wedgewood.
With Pittsburgh shorthanded, Blueger, off a two-on-one with Colton Sceviour, shot the puck under Wedgewood’s pads to make it 5-1 at 15:59 of the second.