for this game

Clemmensen, Zajac help Devils burn Penguins

Dec 11, 2008 - 4:47 AM
By Joe Rizzo PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEWARK, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Whatever the New Jersey Devils found on the road, Scott Clemmensen and Travis Zajac helped them bring it back home.

Clemmensen made 26 saves and Zajac snapped a scoreless tie in the second period as the Devils skated to a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.

The Devils, playing their first home game since November 21 following a 4-1-0 road trip, won their third straight contest overall. The lone loss during New Jersey's current 8-1-0 run came in Pittsburgh, its only defeat since November 15.

Zach Parise and Dainius Zubrus scored in the third and Patrik Elias added an empty-netter with 41 seconds remaining for the Devils, while captain Jamie Langenbrunner and defensemen Colin White and Bryce Salvador each notched two assists.

Matt Cooke ended Clemmensen's shutout bid late in the third with a shorthanded tally, but it was not enough to prevent the Penguins' losing streak from reaching three games.

"Shutouts are nice, but especially against this team. I'm just happy to get the win," said Clemmensen, who entered the season with eight NHL wins but already has seven this campaign. "They've beaten me at least three times I can remember that I played against them.

"Shutouts are gravy for goalies, but it would have been nice to get one. The goal that went it was a little cheesy, but I can't complain too much when I had help on the other side as well."

Starting his sixth consecutive contest while injured starter Marc-Andre Fleury continues to miss time with a lingering groin injury, Dany Sabourin turned aside 28 shots for Pittsburgh, which had been 5-0-1 in its previous six visits to New Jersey.

"I thought our effort was there," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "It was one of those games where everything goes against you."

Zajac skated down the left wing and attempted a shot from the faceoff circle that hit Pittsburgh defenseman Rob Scuderi and bounded off the end boards. The puck eluded Sabourin on the way out and Zajac gathered it in front before easily depositing it into the vacant net with 2:21 left in the second period for his fifth goal of the season.

"We just wanted to get shots on net and try and get them through," Zajac said. "You never know what's going to happen."

Just 2:18 into the third, Parise added to his team-best total by netting his 16th goal, doubling the lead. Parise shook off defenseman Mark Eaton in the slot and tipped Salvador's shot from the left point between his own legs and past Sabourin for a highlight-reel tally.

"I was trying to get a piece, but it was coming at my body, so I lifted my leg there to try and get away from it," Parise said. "It happened so fast, I didn't know where it went. I was just trying to get in front of him and get into good position to get a deflection on it."

Salvador matched his single-game career high of two assists with just the fifth two-point performance of his eight-year career. He later left with two minutes left in the game after being struck in the face with a puck and did not return.

Sabourin had no chance midway through the third, when rookie defenseman Alex Goligoski screened him, allowing a wrist shot by Zubrus from the top of the right circle to find the net on the short side and increase the advantage to 3-0. Zubrus has seven goals this season, with four coming in a victory over Tampa Bay on November 23.

With the teams playing four aside five minutes into the game, Elias hit the crossbar and Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin rang a shot off the left goalpost. Less than three minutes later, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby split the defense and deked Clemmensen to the ice, only to hit the left post with a shot from behind the netminder.

"I'd already gone down and it hit (White's) stick and hit off the post," Clemmensen said. "(Jordan) Staal hit the post in the first period, so there were a couple of them where they got a little lucky here and there."

Crosby has not scored in five games since netting a hat trick against the Devils on November 29, although he has seven assists in that span. The superstar has notched 41 points this season, trailing only Malkin (46) in the scoring race.

"We played a pretty good hockey game tonight, we just got a couple of bad bounces," Crosby said.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 1 1
    NEW JERSEY 0 1 3 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NJD - TRAVIS ZAJAC 5 (JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER, COLIN WHITE)
    17:39
    3RD PRD: NJD - ZACH PARISE 16 (BRYCE SALVADOR, JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER)
    2:18
    NJD - DAINIUS ZUBRUS 7 (BRIAN GIONTA, BRYCE SALVADOR) 10:12
    PIT -

    Dec 10 9:35 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 1
    NEW JERSEY 4
    3RD PRD: NJD - (EN) PATRIK ELIAS 11 (UNASSISTED) 19:19

    Penguins 1, Devils 4  3rd - 0:41Dec 10 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 1
    NEW JERSEY 3
    3RD PRD: PIT - MATT COOKE 3 (EVGENI MALKIN, RUSLAN FEDOTENKO) 16:02

    Penguins 1, Devils 3  3rd - 3:58Dec 10 9:24 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 0
    NEW JERSEY 3
    3RD PRD: NJD - DAINIUS ZUBRUS 7 (BRIAN GIONTA) 10:12

    Penguins 0, Devils 3  3rd - 9:48Dec 10 9:13 PM
  • 20
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Penguins 0, Devils 2  3rd - 12:00Dec 10 9:08 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 0
    NEW JERSEY 2
    3RD PRD: NJD - ZACH PARISE 16 (BRYCE SALVADOR, JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER)
    2:18

    Penguins 0, Devils 2  3rd - 17:42Dec 10 8:59 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 0
    NEW JERSEY 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NJD - TRAVIS ZAJAC 5 (JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER, COLIN WHITE)
    17:39
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PIT 10 7 17
    NJD 10 12 22
    GOALIES: PI

    Dec 10 8:37 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 0
    NEW JERSEY 1
    2ND PRD: NJD - TRAVIS ZAJAC 5 (JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER, COLIN WHITE) 17:39

    Penguins 0, Devils 1  2nd - 2:21Dec 10 8:35 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 0
    NEW JERSEY 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PIT 10 10
    NJD 10 10
    GOALIES: PIT - DANY SABOURIN
    NJD - SCOTT CLEMMENSEN

    Dec 10 7:43 PM
  • 10
    roots
    Silversword55 Added 5 roots

    Penguins vs. DevilsDec 10 5:25 PM
  • 5
    roots
    aqualung1 Added 5 roots

    Penguins vs. DevilsNov 11 11:08 PM