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|NJD||2||2||1||(0 - 0)||5|
UPDATE: NIcklas Bergfors has been assigned to Lowell (AHL).
newjerseydevils.com – The Devils look to match a season-high three game winning streak when they host the New York Islanders tonight at Prudential Center (7 p.m., MSG Plus, WFAN 660 AM).
Led by Scott Clemmensen's 23 saves Thursday night, the Devils got a goal and an assist apiece from Patrik Elias and Brian Gionta for a 3-1 win over the Florida Panthers in Newark.
Clemmensen stopped all 10 shots he faced in the second period, and Elias notched his eighth of the season on New Jersey's only shot of the frame. Gionta and Paul Martin scored 62 seconds apart in the third to give the Devils a 3-0 lead and put the game out of reach.
Martin picked up his first of the year, while Gionta scored for the second straight game.
MIchael Frolik ended Clemmensen's bid for his third career shutout with 11:18 left in regulation. The 31-year-old netminder has started the last three games for the Devils (9-7-2), who won back-to-back games for the first time since taking three in a row from Oct. 16-22.
"They had a lot of good chances," Brian Gionta said. "(Clemmensen) showed a lot of poise and a lot of confidence just kicking them away and weathering the storm."
Clemmensen has allowed two goals or fewer in four of five appearances this season. He is 0-1-1 with a 2.60 GAA in three games against the Islanders, sharing the Devils' goaltending duties with Kevin Weekes, who last played on Nov. 12.
Clemmensen and Weekes have shouldered the load for New Jersey with four-time Vezina Trophy winner Martin Brodeur sidelined for three to four months with a torn biceps tendon.
"I have played games in this league before, obviously," Clemmensen said. "But they have been spread out and kind of sporadic. When you play only once in a while, you try to do everything so perfectly. You squeeze the stick a little. I know I have an opportunity and I want to go for it."
The Islanders (7-9-2), also without their starting goaltender, will try to extend their longest winning streak of the season to four games. Rick DiPietro has been out of the New York lineup since Oct. 25 with a knee problem.
Despite entering this season with only 17 games of NHL experience, Joey MacDonald was given the role of backing up DiPietro and is now thrust into the No. 1 job.
MacDonald has responded by going 7-6-2 with a 2.68 goals-against average. He has helped the Islanders to three straight wins while allowing only four goals on 102 shots for a .961 save percentage.
MacDonald outplayed Roberto Luongo on Monday, stopping 31 shots through overtime before denying all three shootout attempts as New York beat Vancouver 2-1.
Strong goaltending has been a necessity because the Islanders aren't scoring much. They have scored three or fewer goals in seven straight contests and rank near the bottom of the NHL with 2.50 per game this season.
MacDonald, expected to make his ninth straight start on Friday, is 1-1-1 with a 1.67
GAA in three starts against the Devils.
Devils forward Zach Parise, who was held without a point Thursday for just the fifth time this season, has four goals and three assists in his last six games against the Islanders.
Brodeur stopped Kyle Okposo's penalty shot and made 25 saves in the Devils' 2-1 home win over the Islanders on Oct. 10.
New York is 7-2-1 in the last 10 meetings, but both regulation losses have come at New Jersey.
with wires services
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