Meier, Mercer score twice, Allen makes 36 saves as Devils beat Penguins 5-2

Tue, Mar 19, 2024
NHL News (AP)

Meier, Mercer score twice, Allen makes 36 saves as Devils beat Penguins 5-2

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Jake Allen made 36 saves, and Timo Meier and Dawson Mercer each scored twice to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night.

Alexander Holtz also scored, and Jesper Bratt, Tomas Nosek, Jack Hughes and Luke Hughes each had two assists as New Jersey won for the third time in eight games under interim coach Travis Green.

"One of the focal points of our games was our start. I thought it was excellent," Green said. "A real good effort tonight."

Marcus Pettersson and Bryan Rust scored for Pittsburgh, which like New Jersey is out of a playoff spot with time running out in the regular season. Goaltender Tristan Jarry made 33 saves for the Penguins, who lost for the ninth time in 12 games and for the 11th time in 13 road games.

Pittsburgh is winless in seven games New Jersey (0-6-1) dating to Feb. 24, 2022.

"Whatever the highest level (of desperation), that's where we're at," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "I think that's the situation we're in, and there's nothing else to do other than play with some urgency and desperation and try to get a game at a time."

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Meier broke a 1-all tie with his 20th of the season on a power play at 14:20 of the second period. It was his ninth in 10 games and snapped an 0-for-12 New Jersey drought with the man advantage.

"It was close," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said when asked if Meier used a high stick to deflect the puck on the go-ahead goal. "That's not anything we can challenge. The league looks at that, and they make their best judgment."

New Jersey scored three times in the third period, with Holtz and Mercer adding insurance by scoring 16 seconds apart. Holtz tapped a rebound past Jarry for his 15th of the season, then Mercer struck for his 19th by directing Nosek's pass in at 9:14.

Allen made that stand to lock down his second win in three starts with the Devils. Allen has a .946 save percentage and stopped 105 of 111 shots since New Jersey acquired him from Montreal on March 8.

"I thought it was probably the most complete game I've seen since I've been here," Allen said. "I thought it was impressive to come out in the third and kill their will right away and then after that play a very mature game."

Green said Allen has played well in his three starts.

"At this time of the year, goaltending is a big part of the game," Green said.

Mercer opened the scoring at 5:35 of the first with his 18th goal. Pettersson evened the score when he fielded forward Michael Bunting's between-the-legs pass and smoked a one-timer past Allen at 7:16 of the second.

UP NEXT

Penguins: At Dallas on Friday night in the second of a three-game road trip.

Devils: Host Winnipeg Thursday night in the second of a three-game homestand.

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