NJD Preview: Devils vs. Capitals
Saturday, 11.15.2008 / 7:00 PM
New Jersey Devils
newjerseydevils.com – After Friday's defeat in Washington, the Devils get a shot at a rematch against the Capitals Saturday at Prudential Center (7 p.m., MSG Plus, WFAN 660 AM).
Scott Clemmensen posted 24 saves against the Caps in his second start, but the Devils managed only Patrik Elias' breakaway goal in a 3-1 loss at Verizon Center.
"I felt good with the way I played," Clemmensen said. "Obviously I'm not happy with the outcome. I won't let that affect my confidence though. I'll be just as comfortable and confident next time out. If it's (Saturday) night, then great."
New Jersey (7-7-2) has scored five times during their four-game skid, but will face a Washington squad that could be without leading scorer Alexander Semin.
Semin, who has a league-high 13 goals and 27 points, saw his five-game scoring streak snapped Friday when he left late in the second period with an undisclosed
Brooks Laich and Tomas Fleischmann scored Friday for Washington. Defending league MVP Alexander Ovechkin added an empty-netter in the game's final minute.
While Washington has outscored opponents 18-7 during its five-game winning streak, the Devils are 1-5-0 and have been outscored 18-8 since Martin Brodeur tore a biceps muscle on Nov. 1. Brodeur is expected to miss about four months.
"Not winning games is getting frustrating," Brian Gionta said after notching his eighth assist Friday. "We've got to find a way to win games."
Defenseman Paul Martin rejoined the lineup Friday after missing five games and logged more than 22 minutes of ice time. Martin led Devils' defensemen with 32 points last season.
Martin's return should help a New Jersey power play that is scoreless in its last four games (0-for-11) and one for its last 20 opportunities.
Washington (10-4-2) has won five in a row and has reached the 10-win plateau in the fewest games in 17 seasons, while New Jersey (7-7-2) has dropped four straight.
Ovechkin assisted on Laich's first-period power-play goal and extended his goal streak to three games by scoring into the empty net with 20.5 seconds remaining.
After recording two goals and three assists in his first nine games, Ovehckin has three goals and seven assists since a two-game absence to visit his ailing grandfather in Russia.
The Capitals are 5-0-1 and haven't allowed more than two goals in a game since Ovechkin's return.
Jose Theodore made his first start for Washington since Nov. 1 and made 32 saves, conceding Elias' goal in the third period.
Theodore improved to 5-13-0 lifetime against the Devils.
The teams split two meetings in New Jersey in 2007-08, but the Devils had won seven of their previous eight home games against the Caps.
with wire services
All fans 13 and under attending tonight's game will receive a Martin Brodeur poster, courtesy of the New Jersey Education Association... Tonight is also Nathan's Dollar Dog Night at the Rock. Fans will be able to purchase Nathan's hot dogs for just a dollar apiece.