Parise celebrates his 11th of the season Sunday.
newjerseydevils.com – The banged-up Devils haven't lost their competitive fire even as they have continued to lose players to injury.
Already without a long list of regulars, New Jersey played Sunday without Brian Gionta and Bryce Salvador, but fired 38 shots on goal in a 2-1 defeat to the Edmonton Oilers at Prudential Center.
Oilers' goaltender Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers made 37 saves and yielded only Zach Parise's 11th goal of the season. The 24-year-old netminder picked up his second victory in three appearances this season.
Goaltender Scott Clemmensen made his season debut for New Jersey, stopping 26 of 28 shots. After three straight starts, Kevin Weekes got the night off for the Devils, who slipped to 1-3 with Martin Brodeur out of the lineup.
Ales Hemsky potted a goal and an assist for Edmonton, which struck twice in the second period. Former Devil Sheldon Souray also scored.
New Jersey was searching for the tying goal with under two minutes remaining in the game, when a penalty helped to ice the game for the visitors.
Clemmensen was pulled for the extra skater with 1:20 remaining in regulation and a draw in the Oilers' zone. Dainius Zubrus beat Kyle Brodziak on the faceoff, but Jamie Langenbrunner was whistled for hooking Shawn Horcoff at 18:42, negating the 6-on-5 advantage.
"When you look at the video, it's a penalty," said Devils head coach Brent Sutter. "Jamie's just trying to compete and do what he has to do. They're going to make that call any other time the rest of the night. I didn't see it initially but I saw the video after. They're going to make that call. What are you going to do? I can't fault Jamie for it. It's a battle-thing on his part."
The Devils (7-5-2) went on to drop their second straight, and third in four games. Parise scored the lone goal in Saturday's 3-1 defeat at Detroit.
New Jersey carried the play for several stretches on Sunday, outshooting the Oilers 32-20 in the final 40 minutes, and blasting 20 shots in the second period alone. Parise and Anssi Salmela tied for a game-high six shots apiece as the Devils put rubber on Deslauriers at nearly every opportunity.
But the recent troubles on offense continued. Although the Devils have scored five or more goals three times in 14 games, they have recorded just five goals in four games since a 6-1 triumph over Atlanta on Nov. 1. Brodeur left that game in the second period with a torn bicep and will miss three to four months.
New Jersey next hits the ice Wednesday for a contest against the rival New York Rangers. A home-and-home series with the Capitals is set for Friday in Washington and Saturday in Newark.
Following a scoreless and penalty-free first period, the Oilers took the game's first lead in the second.
Souray took Hemsky's feed on a 3-on-2 to beat Clemmensen from the left circle for his fifth of the season at 7:19.
The Devils looked to draw even on the game's first power play, after Andrew Cogliano was called for tripping Salmela at 10:36. Patrik Elias blasted a shot from the high slot, and Zubrus nearly scored on the rebound with sharp-angle chance into a sprawling Deslauriers at 10:57. A video review determined that the puck did not cross the line.
The Oilers got their first power play shortly afterward, and padded the lead while David Clarkson was off for hooking.
The speedy Hemsky carried the puck down the right side, and used an inside-out move to slip by Colin White at the right circle. As Hemsky attempted to control on his backhand, Devils' defensive call-up Jay Leach poked the puck off of Hemsky's left skate and by Clemmensen.
The goal was reviewed and allowed to stand for a 2-0 Oilers lead at 13:49.
"We played hard. You have a power play and you don't score on it, get some quality scoring chances," Sutter said. "They get the next power play and they go down and score. It puts them up 2-0. It's tough. You're battling, competing but try and do what you can."
Edmonton nearly made it 3-0 in the dying seconds of the middle frame, but New Jersey dodged a bullet when Brodziak rang one off the left post with 11 ticks on the clock.
The Devils registered five of the first six shots to open the third, and Parise connected early to cut the Oilers' lead in half.
The fourth-year left wing got a stick on Travis Zajac's shot from the top of left circle for an incredible redirection over Deslauriers at 3:50 of the third. The goal tied Parise with Washington's Alexander Semin for second-best in the NHL. Parise has goals in all but four of the Devils' games this season.
Making his first start for the Devils since the 2006-07 regular-season finale against the Islanders, Clemmensen provided solid support.
The 31-year-old made 40 appearances for the Maple Leafs' affiliate Toronto Marlies (AHL) in 2007-08, and finished with a mark of 23-14-2 and 2.44 GAA. Drafted with the Devils' seventh choice in 1997, Clemmensen was 1-1 in three appearances with the Leafs last season.
NJD NOTES Leach, 6-4, 220 lb., was called up Sunday from Lowell (AHL) under emergency conditions and made his Devils debut/fifth career NHL appearance. He finished with 13:25 of ice time on 19 shifts... Forward Patrick Davis was also called up Sunday and became the fifth Devil to make his NHL debut this season, joining Matt Halischuk, Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, Anssi Salmela and Petr Vrana. Davis, New Jersey's fourth choice in 2005, saw 4:30 of ice time on nine shifts.