Jared McCann, Brian Dumoulin and Colton Sceviour also scored as the banged-up Penguins won their second game in as many nights and eighth in 11 games (8-2-1). Casey DeSmith made 25 saves in snapping a personal two-game losing streak.
Miles Wood scored two goals, and Jack Hughes and Jesper Boqvist had one each for the Devils, who snapped a four-game winless streak beating Buffalo on Thursday night. Mackenzie Blackwood made 21 saves.
The Penguins opened a 5-2 lead midway through the third period on goals by Crosby and Rust, but they had to hang on in the final minutes after New Jersey got two goals off Penguins misplays to get within a one.
Rust put the game out of reach with an empty-net goal.
The Penguins took the lead late in the second when Sceviour snapped a 26-game goal drought by batting a rebound past Blackwood.
Rust stretched the lead to 4-2 with a power-play goal at 4:06 of the third and Crosby tallied his 16th at 10:02 for a three-goal margin.
Boqvist scored on a deflection off the stick of Chris Letang, and Dumoulin sent a pass off the leg of DeSmith to make it a one-goal game. Wood got credit for the goal.
Hughes had tied it at 2-all early in the period with a shot from low in the left circle after DeSmith made saves on two other shots.
Wood opened the scoring with a tap-in 3:01 after the opening faceoff. McCann tied it by putting the rebound of Crosby’s shot past Blackwood on a power play at 10:00.
Dumoulin gave Pittsburgh the lead with less than a minute left in the first period with a point shot that deflected off the arm of Devils forward Janne Kuokannen. It gave him points in four game games, matching his career high set in 2018.
NOTES: The Devils did not have a pregame show on MSG Network because the hosts — Erika Wachter and Bryce Salvador — had to go into the COVID-19 protocol. … Bratt has two goals and four assists in his last four games. … Rust has points in six straight against New Jersey. … Hughes has goals in two straight after going 10 games without a goal.
Devils captain Nico Hischier is close to returning. The center has not played since being hit in the face by a shot on Feb. 28. He needed surgery on his nose. He started practicing this week.
The Penguins are winning despite injuries. Forwards Evgeni Malkin, Teddy Blueger, Kasperi Kapanen and Brandon Tanev remain out. Blueger seemingly is closest to returning.
The teams will face each other four more times in the next two weeks. They will return here Sunday for the final game in New Jersey and play in Pittsburgh on the April 20, 22 and 24.
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