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Jesper Bratt scores two early goals to propel Devils past Penguins

Sportsnaut
Feb 24, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  New Jersey Devils left wing Jesper Bratt (63) scores a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 24, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Jesper Bratt (63) scores a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Jesper Bratt had two goals and an assist and rookie goaltender Nico Daws made 37 saves Thursday as the visiting New Jersey Devils clobbered the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-1.

Nico Hischier added a goal and two assists, Yegor Sharangovich, Dawson Mercer and Damon Severson also scored, and Jack Hughes added three assists for the Devils, who had lost two in a row, nine of 11, and were coming off an eight-day layoff.

Daws, 21, got his second NHL win in his fifth career game.

Evgeni Malkin scored for the Penguins, who lost their third straight.

Pittsburgh goaltender Tristan Jarry allowed five goals on 19 shots before being pulled in the second. Casey DeSmith relieved and made 16 saves.

The Devils bull-rushed the Penguins in the first, starting with Bratt’s goal at 1:16. After a two-on-one, he chipped in a rebound.

Bratt struck again at 5:47 of the first for a 2-0 lead and his team-best 45th point. His shot from the right circle sailed over Jarry’s right shoulder.

It was 3-0 just 57 seconds later as Sharangovich scored from 10 feet on a rising shot.

Pittsburgh dominated the first half of the second, but the Devils scored on their first shot of the frame.

Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson turned the puck over behind his net. Hughes nabbed it and fed Mercer in the slot for a lofted one-timer at 9:24 to increase it to 4-0.

Malkin solved Daws for a big-effort power-play goal at 11:13 of the second. Grabbing the puck behind his net, Malkin took off up ice. Near center ice, he passed to Sidney Crosby at the right point. Crosby gave it back, and Malkin took the puck off his skate and scooped it in glove side to make it 4-1.

On a power play at 13:37 of the second, Severson upped it to 5-1 and chased Jarry with a blast through traffic from the left point.

Hischier scored from the high slot on a power play to make it 6-1 at 9:30 of the third.

–Field Level Media