Islanders 4, Devils 0
Clemmensen robbed Sean Bergenheim early in Saturday's game and finished with 34 saves.
After a frustrating road trip that ended with Saturday's 4-0 loss to the New York Islanders, the Devils are looking to regroup before the regular season's homestretch.
The Devils were blanked for the second time in three games, this time by Yann Danis, who made 40 saves for his second career shutout.
Danis stopped Zach Parise
on a breakaway with three minutes left in regulation and handed the Devils their sixth shutout of the season.
Sean Bergenheim, Jon Sim, Kyle Okposo and Bill Guerin all scored for the last-place Islanders, who won for the first time in five meetings with the Devils this season.
New York struck in each of the first two periods, before adding two power-play goals in the final 3:53 of regulation.
Guerin's 5-on-3 tally with 2:08 remaining rounded out the scoring in the Islanders' first shutout of the season.
Scott Clemmensen stopped 34 of 38 shots but suffered his second straight setback.
"They brought more energy and really outworked us," Clemmensen said. "It's funny, the harder you work, the luckier you get. They didn't let up at all and we obviously weren't playing the best we could. They jumped on us and really kept us from getting up off our back after the first period, when they really took it to us."
The Devils fell 4-0 to Florida's Tomas Vokoun to open the trip, and have scored two regulation goals since beating the West-leading San Jose Sharks on Feb. 15. Both goals came in Thursday's 3-2 shootout win over Tampa Bay.
"We played a team here tonight that played hard," said head coach Brent Sutter. "They've got nothing to lose, they're just going out there and playing now. They have no chance of making the playoffs, and when you play a team like that, you've got to be prepared as ever. I guess we just got caught up as a team, playing too loosey-goosey here tonight. There was no sense of urgency."
Sutter's club has wrapped up a tough stretch of nine games in 16 days. The Devils haven't seen two days off between games since Feb. 4-5. Back home to open a three-game set Thursday against Colorado, Jersey's Team will look to get recharged before playing three times in four days next week.
"I don't know if we lost focus, but I think we lost our edge a little bit," captain Jamie Langenbrunner
said. "Unfortunately, sometimes those things happen, and we let it. Good thing for us, we have four days here to regroup and 22 games to get our game back."
felt the Devils will have a chance to catch their breath.
"When you've played so many games, you don't get to work on the little individual things like shooting and battling," Elias said. "We just have to bring the work ethic back up again. Every game's going to be tough so we have to get it into our heads to initiate things and not let the other team dictate a game."
Elias finished the night with three shots, while Parise and Travis Zajac
each had a game-high six. Brian Gionta added five, but there was no solving Danis.
"The puck's not going in," Elias said. "You get chances, you get shots, but when the puck doesn't go in, you have to do the little things like throw the puck to the net and work for the lucky bounces."
The Devils survived an early scare when Clemmensen robbed Bergenheim 42 seconds in with a diving paddle stop at the goal line.
Bergenheim later gave New York the first lead of the contest with his eighth of the season. Twelve seconds after Mark Streit had finished serving a hooking minor, he fed Bergenheim cross-slot for a wrister past Clemmensen at 3:50 of the first.
Clemmensen had to come up big early in the second, robbing Streit's power-play one-timer from the slot at 1:58. With the Devils still killing Dainius Zubrus
' cross-checking minor, Okposo hit the left post from the point at 2:21.
Just as the Zubrus penalty ended, Clemmensen produced another big save on Josh Bailey's one-timer from the top of the crease at 3:29.
"For me it's not the number of shots," Clemmensen said. "It's the number of quality shots, and tonight we gave up a lot."
Midway through the second period, Sim put New York ahead by a pair.
Bobby Holik's pass from behind the Devils' net misfired to Mike Rupp at the right circle, and Sim backhanded his eighth of the year by Clemmensen at 8:45.
Okposo got his 12th at 16:07 of the third, one-timing Blake Comeau's pass from the left side of the net on the power play. The goal came 32 seconds into David Clarkson
's double-minor for high-sticking at 15:35.
With the Devils killing the second half of Clarkson's penalty, Gionta was called for hooking at 17:18. Guerin added his 16th on the ensuing two-man advantage to make it 4-0 with a slapper from the left circle off Frans Nielsen's cross-ice feed at 17:52.
• A stomach flu kept Parise out of the second period of the Devils' shootout win at Tampa Bay, and the left winger said Saturday he was still feeling the effects of the illness.
"I feel better," Parise said. "I was a little tired tonight, but it's a good thing we have these four days off."
Parise added that he felt it more toward the end of the game, and said he hoped the flu would be gone by Sunday.
• With Paul Martin (upper body soreness) out for a fourth straight game, Anssi Salmela
was in the lineup for a second consecutive contest.
• Martin Brodeur
missed his 50th game as he continues to recover from the left elbow injury he sustained on Nov. 1.
• The Devils and Islanders close out their season series on March 7 at Nassau Coliseum.
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