Devils Demolish The Penguins

Devils' John Madden (11) is stopped on a shot by Penguins goalie Jean Sebastien Aubin. AP

Tough league, the NHL. New Jersey Devils forward John Madden scored four goals and wasn't even chosen the game's top star.

Madden, who had five points, settled for second billing because teammate Randy McKay also scored four goals Saturday night in a 9-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"Randy's goals were much more fashionable than mine, so I'm sure they gave it to him for that," Madden said. "Even though I had one more point than he did."

The Devils, who equaled the biggest offensive outburst in team history, did a lot of laughing after a historic night that was also a solid two-way win. McKay and Madden became the first teammates to score four in a game since Odie Cleghorn and Sprague Cleghorn did it for Montreal in a 10-6 win over the Hamilton Tigers on Jan. 14, 1922.

It wasn't Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier with Edmonton or Guy Lafleur and Steve Shutt with Montreal, or even Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr with Pittsburgh.

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  • It was the unlikely combination of McKay and Madden. McKay used to star on the Devils' "crash line" and New Jersey coach Larry Robinson recently said he didn't expect much scoring from Madden, who has been cast in a defensive role.

    "I'll eat crow for that one," Robinson said. "He can score."

    The performance delighted the Devils, not just because it helped them to an easy win while playing their second game in two nights. The players enjoyed seeing the goals come from unlikely sources.

    "Every time I came back to the bench, Bobby Holik was shaking his head," McKay said. "He couldn't believe it."

    Said Holik, "That's because he didn't just get goals, he got pretty goals, three of them. I was like, Whoooo. They weren't just going in, the goalie had no chance on them. It was hard to believe."

    It stunned McKay, too.

    "I was in the right spot at the right time and it seemed like every time I got in the open, someone got me the puck," he said. "It was just one of those nights. The last one, it came back to me, flat as could be, right in my wheelhouse and I had an open net to shoot at."

    McKay said he once scored five goals in a high school game. Madden recalled a six-goal game in junior hockey.

    The Penguins had their first sellout crowd in six home games, which was unfortunate timing.

    "I feel bad for the fans. We didn't show up. I have to apologize. It was embarrassing," Jagr said.

    Defenseman Bob Boughner took it a step further, saying, "Maybe we should all take money out of our next checks and pay all the fans who stayed to watch the rest of that game. It's a joke."

    Madden also assisted on Turner Stevenson's second goal of the season as New Jersey scored nine goals for the seventh time and tied the franchise mark for largest margin of victory.

    Almost overlooked in the offensive outburst was goalie Martin Brodeur's 43rd career shutout. He stopped 21 shots.

    The Devils extended their unbeaten streak to four games (3-0-1) and had two hat tricks in a game for the first time since Brendan Shanahan and Pat Verbeek each scored three goals in an 8-1 win over Toronto on Feb. 23, 1989.

    New Jersey scored four goals in the first period against goalie Jean-Sebastien Aubin and four more in the second against backup Garth Snow.

    Madden scored his fourth goal from a bad angle at 15:55 of the third as the Devils handed the Penguins their worst home defeat in the franchise's 34 seasons.

    Stevenson scored at 2:02 on the Devils' first shot of the game. Madden got his first at 4:45 and McKay scored his first on a power play at 11:18. McKay put his second in off a goal post at 19:30 of the opening period.

    Madden scored at 11:10 of the second and McKay completed his third career hat trick at 12:32. McKay, who never collected more than three points in a game, got his fourth goal at 17:44 when he picked Patrik Elias' rebound off the back boards.

    "I couldn't do anything wrong out there," McKay said. "I just kept going out there an playing."

    Madden, who registered his first career hat trick, scored his third at 18:57 of the second, putting a shot in off the stick of Pittsburgh defenseman Hans Jonsson.

    Notes

  • Verbeek had four goals for New Jersey and Kirk Muller added three in an 8-6 victory over the Minnesota North Stars on Feb. 28, 1988.
  • McKay had a chance at a fifth goal but put his shot off a post in the third period.
  • The Devils played their first game against a divisional opponent. It is the deepest they've gone into a season without an intradivisional game.
  • Aubin is 0-5 against New Jersey.
  • The Devils are on an 8-2 streak in Pittsburgh.
  • The Devils beat Atlanta 9-0 last March 10.
  • Four goals is the most scored by a Devils player in team history.


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