The Pittsburgh Penguins look to maintain their hold on first place in the Atlantic Division on Saturday afternoon as they begin a home-and-home series with the hosting New Jersey Devils.
The Penguins come into this meeting having won five straight and with 16 points on the season. That is one better than the streaking New Jersey Devils, who have won each of their last three outings to keep pace with the Pens.
Pittsburgh, which will host New Jersey on Sunday night, extended its winning streak in dominating fashion on Thursday, getting all of its goals in the second period of a 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals.
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin led the charge with a goal and two assists each. Crosby has two goals and 12 points over a six-game point streak, while Malkin has logged nine points during the Penguins' winning streak.
James Neal posted a goal and an assist while Pascal Dupuis and Matt Cooke each lit the lamp as Pittsburgh went 3-for-4 on the man advantage despite defenseman and power-play quarterback Kris Letang missing the game with a lower-body injury that has him day-to-day.
"We did a lot of good things and sometimes you get the results you want," said Crosby. "We're just playing with a lot of confidence right now and believing that we can do just about anything."
Marc-Andre Fleury posted 23 saves in the win, which improved Pittsburgh to 6-1-0 on the road.
The Penguins' winning streak does include a 5-1 home win over the Devils on Feb. 2. Crosby and Chris Kunitz had a goal and two assists each, while Fleury needed to make just 15 saves.
The win was Pittsburgh's third straight and sixth in its past nine versus the Devils, but it has lost eight of its past 10 trips to New Jersey.
The Devils began their current winning streak after that loss to the Penguins, which still stands as their lone regulation loss of the campaign (6-1-3), and are coming off Thursday's 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
New Jersey put the game away late in the third with goals 14 seconds apart on consecutive 5-on-3 power plays. Patrik Elias had one of those tallies and added two assists for his second straight three-point game.
Andy Greene also scored on the man advantage, while Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and an assist for his first points in six games. Martin Brodeur ended with 17 saves.
"Our goalies are making the saves at the right time, we're blocking shots at the right time and everyone is playing a part," said Elias, whose team improved to 4-0-1 at home this season.
Greene had the lone goal last weekend versus the Pens, while Brodeur yielded all five goals on 30 shots.
New Jersey played without winger Dainius Zubrus on Thursday due to a lower- body injury and there is no timetable for his return.