PITTSBURGH — Bryan Rust scored in a third straight game, and the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the New Jersey Devils 4-2 at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday.
Jeff Carter scored for the second time in three games, and Casey DeSmith made 34 saves for the Penguins (31-14-3), who completed a three-game sweep of the Devils.
Pittsburgh, which is 7-1-1 in its past nine games, moved into first in the MassMutual East Division, one point ahead of the Washington Capitals and two ahead of the New York Islanders. Washington plays at New York later Saturday.
Jack Hughes and Miles Wood scored for New Jersey (14-27-6), which has lost nine straight, all in regulation. Mackenzie Blackwood returned after missing two games with an upper-body injury and made 33 saves.
Carter scored on a wrist shot from the right face-off circle, giving the Penguins a 1-0 lead at 9:41 of the first period. The forward, who was acquired in a trade from the Los Angeles Kings on April 12, scored his first goal for Pittsburgh in a 7-6 win against New Jersey on Tuesday.
Jared McCann made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at 12:50 of the first. After Jake Guentzel tipped a shot from Kris Letang, McCann dove at the loose puck to poke it in for his 13th goal and seventh on the power play this season.
Rust scored on a tip-in, extending the lead to 3-0 at 7:30 of the second period. Guentzel deflected a shot from Cody Ceci before it went off Rust for his 20th goal of the season.
Hughes cut it to 3-1 at 8:45 of the second. The puck slipped off Yegor Sharangovich‘s stick and through the crease for a wrist shot from Hughes.
Wood scored on a one-timer, making it 3-2 at 10:58 of the third period.
Sidney Crosby scored an empty-net goal from his own goal line with 0.1 seconds remaining for the 4-2 final.