Scott Clemmensen is writing one of those nifty sports stories, and his Devils teammates are more than happy to be part of the plot.
The career backup, who left the Devils and signed with Toronto last year, only to play most of his games in the minor leagues, is now an NHL starter -- and winner.
His coach, Brent Sutter, won't say Clemmensen is his No. 1 goalie with Martin Brodeur out, but he doesn't have to say it. Clemmensen is No. 1 and Kevin Weekes is right back where he was when Brodeur was playing every game.
Clemmensen has started the last five games, eight of the last nine. He has won six of his last seven.
Saturday night, he started a game in Montreal for the first time in his career, in Brodeur's backyard, and won.
"I'm not trying to replace Marty, especially not here," he said.
But, Montreal aside, he is replacing Brodeur -- at least for now. He is also bringing his career to life, meaning that regardless of when Brodeur comes back, be it in February or March, the NHL world knows Scott Clemmensen can play, and that should mean life for him -- somewhere -- when Brodeur is healthy next season.
The Devils, with Clemmensen in goal for all five games, went 4-1 on their five-game stay away from the Prudential Center and now play host to the Penguins Wednesday night, the first of three straight home games in four nights.
DEVILS 2, CANADIENS 1 (OT): Thursday night in Philadelphia, Zach Parise assisted on Patrik Elias' overtime goal. Saturday night in Montreal, it was the other way around, and the Devils picked up their seventh win in the last eight games.
"I think everybody's in sync," New Jersey coach Brent Sutter said after Parise scored his team-high 15th goal, on the power play, just 31 seconds into overtime. "The biggest thing I want to see as a group is no matter what the score is, the amount of time the game is, we've got to play a certain way, we've got to stay with it."
The Devils trailed, 1-0, when Jamie Langenbrunner blasted one through Corey Price to tie it. With Scott Clemmensen and the team defense closing the door after that, the game went into overtime and Alex Kovalev was in the box when Parise scored his second OT goal of the season.
Clemmensen made 25 saves in his first career start in Montreal as both he and the Devils ended a 4-1 road swing.
"It was a good win," said Parise. "Clemmer really played well. He made some unbelievable saves and kept us in it and gave us a good chance to win tonight."
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