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Associated Press
12/1/2006 10:12:02 PM


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Checking forward Jay Pandolfo capitalized on a bad night by Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to score the tie-breaking goal and the New Jersey Devils snapped a four-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over the Penguins on Friday night.

Jamie Langenbrunner, Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac and Brian Gionta also scored as goal-starved New Jersey avoided its longest winless streak since a seven-game skid (0-4-2-1) in 2001. They also enjoyed their return to the Meadowlands, where they are 9-1-1 this season.

The Devils scored just five goals in losing the final four games of their just completed five-game road trip. They got four goals on nine shots against Fleury in just over 30 minutes, and then added one more against Jocelyn Thibault.

While Martin Brodeur made 23 saves in handing Pittsburgh its fourth loss in five games, he gave up soft goals to Erik Christensen and Evgeni Malkin in the early minutes of the first and second periods, respectively.

Elias, who has struggled since signing a US$42 million contract in the off-season, matched his season best with three points. He has five in the last two games.

The turning point came at 7:31 of the second period when Pandolfo scored his third goal of the season to snap a 2-2 tie.

Fleury, who seemingly flubbed Langenbrunner's point shot on the Devils' first goal, got square to Pandolfo as he one-timed a pass from Sergei Brylin from the right circle. The puck somehow sneaked past Fleury and slowly crossed the goal line.

Zajac stretched the lead to 4-2 a little more than three minutes later, tapping the rebound of an Elias shot past Fleury to end his night.

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