(SportsNetwork.com) - The Pittsburgh Penguins will have to try and avoid a third straight loss without two of its four leading scorers on Tuesday night when they visit the New Jersey Devils.
The Penguins are set to open a three-game swing tonight without forwards Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist, with the former day-to-day and Hornqvist expected to miss at least the entire trip.
Malkin sustained a lower-body injury in Saturday's loss to the Boston Bruins, while Hornqvist suffered an undisclosed ailment in Sunday's 5-1 setback to the Detroit Red Wings. Malkin leads Pittsburgh with 28 goals and is second on the club with 68 points, while Hornqvist is fourth with 45 points off 23 goals and 22 assists.
Captain Sidney Crosby also missed the Boston game due to illness, but returned to the lineup the following day. He assisted on David Perron's goal, while Marc-Andre Fleury allowed four goals on 16 shots before getting pulled early in the second period. Thomas Greiss stopped eight of the nine shots he faced in relief.
The Penguins were held to one goal or fewer for the fifth time in the past seven games and frustration led to the club taking four 10-minute misconduct penalties against the Red Wings.
"It was a tough game. We didn't really give ourselves a chance with a tough start," said Crosby. "With penalties and stuff like that, that can't happen this time of year. We have to correct it."
Pittsburgh's third loss in four games has it two points back of the New York Islanders for second place in the Metropolitan Division but also only two points up on the fourth-place Washington Capitals. The Pens do have two games in hand over both clubs and the Islanders play at the Chicago Blackhawks tonight. The Capitals are idle.
Fleury should get a chance to rebound tonight and is 3-1-0 in four games versus the Devils this season with a 1.74 goals against average and .921 save percentage.
Tonight marks the fifth and final meeting of the season between these clubs and the Penguins will try to pick up a second straight victory in New Jersey. They snapped a five-game series road slide with a 2-1 overtime win on Jan. 30, just the Pens' third victory in their last 16 trips to New Jersey.
The Devils are coming off a 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday, with Jordin Tootoo and Mike Cammalleri notching a goal and an assist each. Cammalleri reached the 25-goal mark for the sixth time in his career and the Devils are the fourth team he has done it with.
"It's nice, it's always been part of my responsibility but I didn't think about (getting to 25 goals) until you mentioned it just now," Cammalleri told NHL.com. "It's much more important that we try to get where we're going as group this year."
Stephen Gionta and Adam Henrique each scored, while Travis Zajac and Damon Severson supplied two assists each. Cory Schneider made 30 saves for the Devils, who snapped a two-game slide and won in Arizona for the first time since Feb. 12, 2003.
New Jersey was without forward Patrik Elias due to back spasms and he did not practice on Monday.
Schneider will start tonight and is 1-4-1 in six career games versus the Penguins with a 2.65 GAA and .907 save percentage.