EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – Sergei Gonchar scored 1:01 into overtime to lift Pittsburgh over the New Jersey Devils 4-3 Tuesday night for the Penguins’ second victory of the season.

Gonchar took the puck in his own end, split the Devils’ defense and shoveled a backhander past goalie Scott Clemmensen.

The overtime period was the sixth for the Penguins (2-5-5) this season in 12 games. They had lost all five previous times, four during the overtime period and one on a sudden-death shootout.

Sebastien Caron, who finished with 26 saves, held the Devils to one goal until midway through the third period, then gave up goals to Brian Gionta and Erik Rasmussen. Rasmussen’s goal tied the game with 2:12 left.

The loss was the first after two wins for Clemmensen, who has started the last three games in place of injured Martin Brodeur. He sprained his knee last Wednesday against Tampa Bay and is expected to return in the next game or two.

Maxime Talbot’s short-handed goal early in the third period gave Pittsburgh a 3-1 lead. Matt Murley stripped Devils defenseman Vladimir Malakhov just outside the Penguins zone and fed Talbot on a two-on-one.

The Penguins took advantage of a power play in the second period to take the lead after spotting the Devils a 1-0 lead.

With Sergei Brylin off for hooking and Zach Parise serving a minor for the Devils having too many men on the ice, defenseman Ryan Whitney’s wrister from the right circle was gloved by Clemmensen and pinned against the near post.

The puck was ruled not to have crossed the goal line, but the Devils’ reprieve was short-lived. As soon as Brylin stepped back on the ice, Whitney took a pass from Gonchar in almost the same spot that Clemmensen stopped. Sidney Crosby poked the puck in the air over and behind the goalie, and Mark Recchi reached in and poked it across the line.

A little more than a minute later, Lasse Pirjeta beat Devils defenseman Paul Martin to a loose puck near center ice and beat Clemmensen high to the glove side with a left-handed wrist shot on a two-on-one to give Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead at 16:33.

A hustle play by the Devils produced the first goal early in the second period. Jay Pandolfo outskated defenseman Steve Poapst to a loose puck along the right boards in Pittsburgh’s zone and skated behind the net. His pass in front was tipped and went to Jamie Langenbrunner at the bottom of the right circle, and he beat Caron with a high wrister to the near post.

Notes: The Penguins recalled Whitney and C Erik Christensen from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Monday and coach Ed Olczyk put both on the ice to start the game. … D Josef Melichar, D Ric Jackman and RW Ryan VandenBussche were scratches for the Penguins. … New Jersey scratched D Colin White and LW Darren Langdon. … Pandolfo appeared in his 500th game for the Devils. … The last time Brodeur didn’t dress for three straight games was during the 1993-94 season, his first full season in the league.

AP-ES-11-01-05 2220EST


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