New Jersey at Buffalo

Clemmensen gets Devils back on track, five players score to top Sabres

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The New Jersey Devils are discovering how good they can be without top goalie Martin Brodeur.

David Clarkson had a goal and an assist, and five New Jersey players scored in the Devils' 5-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday.

"We're gaining confidence and learning a lot about each other," said captain Jamie Langenbrunner, who had two assists. "We're proving to ourselves as well as the rest of the league that we have a good team, and not just Marty carrying us. I think it can be huge for us later on in the year."

Travis Zajac, Zach Parise, Bryce Salvador, and Brian Rolston added goals for New Jersey, which snapped a two-game losing streak and won for the 10th time in 13 games (10-2-1). Scott Clemmensen made 23 saves and earned his ninth win in 11 starts.

"It's typical Devils fashion. We're not very exciting to watch, and maybe our team goes unnoticed a little bit, which is fine with us," said Clemmensen, who wrested the No. 1 goalie spot away from Kevin Weekes after Brodeur tore his biceps in early November. "It's an entire team effort."

Clarkson provides a perfect example of that. He had only nine points in 28 games before Wednesday, but his sixth goal of the season scored six minutes into the third period proved to be the winner.

He took the puck away along the right boards from Nathan Paetsch, skated toward the net, and made a move on goalie Ryan Miller before deftly slipping a shot between Miller's pads.

Clarkson then assisted on Rolston's goal 3½ minutes later to make it 5-2 with 10:29 to go.

"To be in the lineup, I have to play hard and go to the net hard to create trouble," Clarkson said. "We're a deep lineup with a lot of guys that can do a lot."

New Jersey's Patrik Elias had two assists to extend his point streak to eight games.

The Devils played the entire third period with only five defensemen after Salvador sustained an upper body injury late in the second period.

Drew Stafford, Patrick Kaleta and Paul Gaustad scored for the Sabres, who lost for the second time in six games. Miller finished with 25 saves.

"We tried to play a lazy game," Buffalo defenseman Jaroslav Spacek said. "We didn't have energy to backcheck and that's why they got their chances. We'd better start to trust each other."

Gaustad cut the Sabres' deficit to two just 12 seconds after Rolston's goal, slamming in a rebound from the slot.

"We need to simplify our game," Gaustad said. "We stick to our game of hard hockey, we're a tough team to beat. We made mistakes we shouldn't have."

Zajac scored just 1:36 into the game to give the Devils a 1-0 lead. After Miller stopped Mike Mottau's shot, Zajac wristed in the rebound from the slot.

Stafford tied it just over five minutes later, redirecting Clarke MacArthur's pass from the outer edge of the left circle.

New Jersey regained its one-goal lead on Parise's team-leading 18th while the Devils enjoyed a two-man advantage. Parked to the left of Miller, Parise had his initial shot stopped before putting in the rebound at 11:44 of the first.

Salvador made it 3-1 at 10:52 of the second period after his shot from the middle of the blue line deflected off Gaustad's skate in the slot.

Kaleta cut it to 3-2 with his first of the season just 18 seconds later. He redirected Daniel Paille's pass from the left circle.

"We dug ourselves a hole early, and when you get behind on that team it obviously makes it even tougher," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said.

Notes

  • The Sabres played without captain Craig Rivet (shoulder) and rookie forward Nathan Gerbe (upper body).
  • Buffalo C Derek Roy stretched his point streak to seven games with an assist on Stafford's goal.
  • Kaleta returned after missing seven games with a head-neck injury.
  • Elias has 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in 14 games.
  • New Jersey had lost three straight games against Buffalo.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Scott Clemmensen stops a shot by Maxim Afinogenov, one of his 23 saves in the game. (AP)
Scott Clemmensen stops a shot by Maxim Afinogenov, one of his 23 saves in the game. (AP)

Scoreboard
New Jersey  (17-9-3) «2125
Buffalo (15-13-3)1113
Three Stars
D. Clarkson
NJ


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
P. Elias
NJ


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
P. Kaleta
BUF


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
01:36Travis Zajac (8), Snap Shot. Assist: Mottau, Langenbrunner
06:58Drew Stafford (8), Tip-In. Assist: MacArthur, Roy
11:44Power Play - Zach Parise (17), Wrist Shot. Assist: Langenbrunner, Elias
2ND PERIOD
10:52Bryce Salvador (2), Tip-In. Assist: Elias, Gionta
11:10Patrick Kaleta (2), Tip-In. Assist: Paille, Spacek
3RD PERIOD
06:04David Clarkson (6), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
09:31Brian Rolston (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Clarkson
09:43Paul Gaustad (3), Slap Shot. Assist: Pominville, Hecht
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
07:29Holik, 2 min, Holding
09:46MacArthur, 2 min, Cross-Checking
10:36Tallinder, 2 min, Hooking
17:34Rupp, 2 min, Interference
2ND PERIOD
None
3RD PERIOD
02:26White, 2 min, Holding
03:19Kotalik, 2 min, Tripping
10:53Hecht, 2 min, Slashing
19:39White, 2 min, Interference
19:57Gaustad, 2 min, Cross-Checking
19:57Martin, 2 min, Cross-Checking
Shots On Goal
 123T
New Jersey176730
Buffalo911626
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Scott Clemmensen60:00233
Ryan Miller58:30255
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
New Jersey1-for-4
Buffalo0-for-4
Game Information
Attendance - 18690
Referees - Mike Leggo, Kevin Pollock
Linesmen - Thor Nelson, Pierre Racicot
 
Other Games
Edm 2 Final
Van 4
SJ 1 Final
OT
Colu 2
NYR 3 Final
OT
LA 2
Cal 3 Final
OT
Min 2