Note: We overlooked a 6-3 defeat of the Nordiques from Oct 25, 1990 on Monday and didn't get around to writing it up until this morning. Click here to read it. We apologize for the oversight.
"Twenty Years Later" is a segment, with a highly unimaginative name, which will appear on Empty Netters throughout the 2010-11 season. We will examine the Penguins' 1990-91 season which led to the first Stanley Cup title in franchise history. We will look back on games on a particular date and catch up with former players, coaches, executives and media members who were a part or around that team.
Today, we look at the Penguins' 7-5 loss against the Devils, Oct. 27, 1990.
The Penguins lost their third consecutive Patrick Division game at Brendan Byrne Arena. The Devils took an early 1-0 lead 4:34 into the game on a power play when left winger Kirk Muller beat goaltender Tom Barrasso from the left hash mark off assists from defenseman Bruce Driver and center Peter Stastny.
At 16:57 of the period, the Penguins would tie the game when right winger Mark Recchi beat Devils defenseman Ken Danyeko one-on-one and put a shot behind goaltender Sean Burke. Right wingers Tony Tanti and Joe Mullen had assists.
New Jersey would reclaim a 2-1 lead just over a minute later at 18:06 on a goal by defenseman Eric Weinrich. Assists when to right winger John MacLean and Muller.
The Penguins tied it again early in the second period, 2-2, at 3:32. Center John Cullen beat Burke on a five-on-three power play off assists from defensemen Paul Coffey and left winger Kevin Stevens.
Almost a minute and a half later at 4:51, a goal from the left dot by Mullen gave the Penguins a 3-2 lead. Defenseman Zarley Zalapski and Coffey had assists.
Left winger Pat Conacher tied the game, 3-3, at 6:28. Assists went to right winger Troy Crowder center Laurie Boschman.
The Penguins reclaimed the lead, 4-3 at 11:49 on a breakaway goal by Mullen. Coffey and center Barry Pederson were credited with assists.
New Jersey once again tied the game, 4-4, on a power-play goal by left winger Zdeno Ciger. Centers Patrik Sundstrom and Jon Morris had assists.
After Barrasso was pulled in favor of Wendell Young, the Devils took a 5-4 lead at 3:06 of the third when Boschman threw a puck on ice from center ice. Young mishandled the puck and allowed it to bounce off his skate an into the net. Assists went to defensemen Slava Festisov and Alexei Kasatonov.
Just over 30 seconds later at 3:37, MacLean would score the eventual game-winning goal by beating Young from a tight angle on the right wing off an assist by Muller.
Ciger would net an insurance goal from the left hash mark at 6:33 of the period. Morris and left winger Brendan Shanahan had assists.
The Penguins would add a late score when Phil Bourque recorded his first goal of the season at 19:24 off assists from Coffey and Pederson.
-Young would record a loss after stopping six of nine shots. Barrasso made 27 saves on 31 shots.
-Barrasso was pulled due to an ailing hip.
-Regarding his performance, Young told the Pittsburgh Press, "He (Penguins coach Bob Johnson) thought I would do the job but I didn't."
-The Penguins' power play was 1 for 6.
-The Penguins dropped to fifth place in the Patrick Division.
Also in the news that day:
-Despite 384 yards and two touchdowns passing by Alex Van Pelt, Pitt lost to Notre Dame, 31-22, at Pitt Stadium. Notre Dame star Raghib "Rocket" Ismail had 116 yards rushing and one touchdown.
-Three field goals by Craig Fayak led Penn State to a 9-0 shutout of Alabama in Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. It was the first time Alabama had been shutout at home since 1955.