Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Evgeni Malkin's early third-period marker was the lone offense of the contest as Pittsburgh topped New Jersey, 1-0, at CONSOL Energy Center.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 shots to record his league-best fifth shutout of the season for the Penguins, who have won two in a row and four of their last five.
"We talked to our team before the game (that) it might be one of those games where we might have to just will it out in the third period and it was one of those games," Pens head coach Mike Johnston said. "It turned out that's that the way the script was tonight and we hung in there with it."
Cory Schneider made 22 saves for the Devils, who have lost a season-high five straight games.
Malkin snapped the scoreless deadlock at 2:32 of the third period, sliding up the slot untouched, taking Blake Comeau's turnaround feed and beating Schneider through the pads.
Malkin was given a roughing minor and 10-minute misconduct with 4:33 left in regulation but the Devils only had one quality chance on the advantage.
The visitors skated 6-on-5 in the final 1:10 of regulation to no avail.
"It [stinks] to lose again. It's tough, tough losing," Schneider admitted. "Just the way three lines battled and worked their butts off tonight, I think we all deserve a little bit better result."
There were 11 total shots in an uneventful opening period, but Fleury produced a highlight. He dove out to stop a Damian Brunner chance, but the puck beat him, clanged off the near post and slid back under him.
Brandon Sutter was denied by Schneider on a short-handed break early in the second, one of nine stops by the New Jersey netminder. Fleury came up with 13 stops.
Devils center Scott Gomez made his season debut and New Jersey re-debut after signing an undisclosed contract on Monday. The 34-year-old played 22:10 and was credited with one shot and one hit ... Penguins forward Chris Kunitz did not play due to an undisclosed injury, while Crosby did suit up despite missing a morning practice due to illness ... Prior to the game, the Pens recalled forward Scott Wilson and defenseman Brian Dumoulin from Wilkes- Barre/Scranton of the AHL ... Devils forward Stephen Gionta left the game in the second period after being struck in the skate with a puck and did not return ... New Jersey winger Jaromir Jagr left the game late in the second period after absorbing a hit to the head from Pens defenseman Robert Bortuzzo and did not return.