By JOE DERMANNSTEIN Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Reuters) – The Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cups in 1967, 1968 and 1979, and then again in 1983, but the New Jersey Devils have not made the playoffs since 1993, when they swept the Penguins in seven games.
The Devils won the first round of the playoffs in 2015, and they’re 3-5-1 in their past five meetings.
The Penguins, who lost in the first game of the Eastern Conference finals last year and have been eliminated in five straight postseasons, have been unable to close the gap with New Jersey since the Penguins won three in a row in 2016.
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, a Hall of Famer, is leading the team in scoring at 17.7 points per game and has nine goals and eight assists in his past five games.
He scored his fifth goal of the season in the second period on Tuesday, a 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals.
He’s also scored at least one goal in every game this season, but he’s been limited to two assists in the past five.
The Capitals, who won the Atlantic Division last year, are coming off a 4–0 loss at the hands of the New England Patriots in the AFC title game on Sunday.
They’re playing their second straight game after losing to New York.
John Carlson had a goal and two assists for the Devils.
Carl Hagelin has four points (one goal, two assists).
The Devils had lost three straight before beating the Penguins 3-1 on Wednesday.
Devils goaltender Calvin Pickard was placed on injured reserve with a right knee injury.
He had played in all six games this season.
Pickard was not the only Devils player on injured duty.
Ryan Carter was also placed on IR, but will return to the lineup in the final game.
The Flyers were eliminated from the playoffs on Tuesday with a 4‑1 loss at Columbus.
They had won seven straight games before losing 5-2 to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday night.