Published December 31, 2011
| Sports Network
The Penguins are coming off a home loss against another divisional opponent, as they had a four-game winning streak halted in Thursday's 4-2 setback to Philadelphia. The Devils, meanwhile, are coming off a win over Buffalo and have recorded victories in six of eight and eight of their last 11 games.
Pittsburgh recorded a 4-1 over the Devils when the clubs met in the Steel City back on Oct. 22. That was the third straight win in this series for the Pens, but Jersey has taken two in a row and six of the last seven matchups in the Garden State.
The Pens enter today's action third in the Atlantic Division and the Devils are five points back in fourth place.
Pittsburgh was burnt by a couple of ex-Penguins on Thursday, as Jaromir Jagr and Maxime Talbot both scored against their former team to lead the Flyers to a 4-2 triumph at CONSOL Energy Center. Jagr had a storied career in Pittsburgh as he played there from 1990 through 2001. Talbot had spent his first six seasons in the Steel City before signing with the Flyers as a free agent this summer.
Jordan Staal and Tyler Kennedy both had a goal for the Penguins, while Marc- Andre Fleury stopped just 19-of-22 shots in the loss. Evgeni Malkin also added an assist to push his point streak to nine games. He has six goals and 13 assists during the run.
"We knew it was a big game and we wanted to play our best, but they came out real hard and we weren't able to get those goals back," said Kennedy.
Pittsburgh is dealing with loads of injuries to key players like captain Sidney Crosby (concussion) and top defenseman Kris Letang (broken nose/concussion), but the Pens will get physical blueliner Deryk Engelland back from suspension today.
Engelland was banned for three games for a hit on Chicago's Marcus Kruger on Dec. 20. He has two goals, eight assists and 30 penalty minutes in 32 games this season.
The Penguins will be on the road for just one game before returning home for a three-game stay. They are 10-8-2 as the visiting team this year.
The Devils are 2-2 over their last four games and were able to record a 3-1 win Wednesday against visiting Buffalo. Petr Sykora scored twice and Martin Brodeur made 22 saves to help lift Jersey to the win, which improved the club's home record to 9-6-1.
"I'm getting a chance to play. I'm getting quite a bit of ice time and I'm getting a chance to play with some great players," said Sykora, who has 10 goals. "It's been a lot of fun."
Zach Parise also had a goal for the Devils, while Brodeur had an assist on Sykora's first goal. It was the 40th point of the goaltender's storied 19-year career.
The Devils expect to get defenseman Henrik Tallinder back today after he missed the last six games with back spasms.