New Jersey 4 ‚Äì Pittsburgh 1
New Jersey Devils backup goaltender Scott Clemmensen made 26 saves to improve to 7-1 in his last eight starts as the New Jersey Devils defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 Wednesday night. Pittsburgh who has lost three straight did not get a very good performance from Dany Sabourin who struggled for the second consecutive game.
Travis Zajac, Zach Parise, Dainius Zubrus and Patrik Elias scored for the Devils, who won for the eighth time in nine games. The Devils (15-8-2) are within two points of the Penguins for second place in the Atlantic division. Pittsburgh failed to get on the scoreboard until Matt Cooke scored with 3:58 remaining in the third period.
Evgeni Malkin the NHL‚Äôs leading scorer with 46 points assisted on Cooke‚Äôs third period goal. The Penguins are 1-3-1 in their last five games. Pittsburgh returns home Thursday night to face off against the New York Islanders.
Post ‚Äì Game Thoughts
This game sort of went how I expected. The Penguins played hard and had chances but couldn‚Äôt capitalize. Dany Sabourin played well for the first half of the game but fell apart after that. He was clearly outplayed by Clemmensen. The first and third goals Sabourin gave up should have never went in. Sabourin has now lost three straight games and regardless of how this game went , John Curry will get the start tomorrow night against the Islanders.
The Penguins were 0-3 on the power play. They need a presence in front of the net. Jordan Staal is currently not creating enough havoc. The Penguins need more from him offensively.
I thought Tim Wallace fared well in his first NHL game. He is effective on the forecheck and if he can improve his skating I think he could be a Chris Clarkson type of player. He made some things happen in the first period.
The most disappointing part of Miroslav Satan‚Äôs play lately has been his lack of aggressiveness around the net. There have been two or three occasions the past two games where he‚Äôs had point blank chances in front of the net and has failed to bury the puck.
Ben LoveJoy saw his ice time increase by almost three minutes tonight.
Defensively the Penguins were strong. They blocked a ton of shots and were 4-for-4 on the penalty kill. Sabourin couldn‚Äôt make the easy save which hurt them tonight.
The Atlantic Division is tightening up. The Flyers and Penguins are tied for second place with 34 points and the Devils are in third place with 32 points. Flyers have really turned it on after a sluggish start. They are aggressively exploring the market to upgrade their blue line. The First Place New York Rangers (19-10-2, 40 pts) beat the Atlanta Thrashers 3-2 in overtime.
Photo courtesy of Dan4th