Parise looks for an opening Friday against the Penguins defense.
newjerseydevils.com – Whenever it seemed that the Devils were about to get on the board, Marc-Andre Fleury stood in the way.
The Devils outshot the Penguins 37-18, but couldn't solve Fleury and suffered a 1-0 loss at Prudential Center. Ruslan Fedotenko had the game's only goal as New Jersey was shutout for the second straight game.
The offense that outscored opponents 12-6 during a recent three-game winning streak has now gone scoreless in seven regulation periods.
Jersey's Team nearly responded on the power play shortly after Fedotenko had given the Penguins the lead at 12:51 of the second period. The Devils had a couple of excellent chances to tie, but came up empty-handed.
Jamie Langenbrunner put a Brian Rolston rebound toward the open right side of the net, but Fleury lunged across for a left arm save with 5:30 left in the period.
Moments later, David Clarkson poked the puck through Fleury, only to see Pittsburgh defenseman Mark Eaton kick it off the goal line with 4:07 left.
The play was waved off on the ice, and a video review determined that the puck had not entirely crossed the line.
"[Fleury] played well, especially the save he made on Jamie," Devils head coach Brent Sutter said. "He made some big saves for them. That being said, we made him look good at certain times too. We had opportunities and we hit him in the chest, belly, or in the crest."
Travis Zajac almost gave the Devils the first goal of the game with 16 seconds left in the first period, but missed wide left of the net after Fleury had stopped Zach Parise, and robbed Langenbrunner on the doorstep. New Jersey finished with 13 missed shots.
"I know their goalie played well, but that's six periods where we haven't scored a goal," Sutter said. "You have to bury your chances. We had opportunities. We had quality scoring chances tonight. We never capitalized on them and that's the difference in the game. We haven't given up much defensively but we haven't capitalized on opportunities when we needed to."
Rolston and Patrik Elias each recorded a game-high six shots. Clarkson, Langenbrunner and Parise had five shots apiece. Evgeni Malkin, who added his league-leading 44th assist, was the only Penguin to manage as many as four shots on goal.
Scott Clemmensen made his sixth straight start and finished with 17 saves. He has held opponents to one goal in each of his last two losses, but has seen little in the way of offensive support.
The Devils have gone 156:24 since Rolston scored in the second period of Sunday's 3-2 shootout win over Philadelphia. New Jersey sustained back-to-back shutout losses for the first time since Jan. 26-27, 2006, when they fell 1-0 at Tampa and 4-0 at Florida.
As they had against Boston's Tim Thomas on Tuesday, the Devils faced a goalie that was looking to shake off a couple of rocky starts. Thomas had allowed 11 goals in three games before blanking New Jersey, 2-0.
Fleury, meanwhile, had dropped two of his last three starts while giving up 10 goals. He survived the Devils' barrage for his first shutout of the season.
New Jersey split the four-game homestand and lost back-to-back contests in regulation for the first time since dropping four straight from Nov. 8-14. Pittsburgh picked up its first regulation win in four outings.
The Devils (19-11-3) dominated the shot count in all three periods: 12-5 in the first, 12-8 in the second and 13-5 in the third. They'll look to convert on more of those chances when they face the Rangers Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
Fedotenko's ninth of the season was the lone goal. Fedotenko and Malkin crisscrossed at the top of the right circle, and Malkin hit Fedotenko in the slot for a shot that squirted under Clemmensen's arm at 12:51.
New Jersey's power play finished 0-for-5 Friday. Since scoring power play goals in four straight games, the Devils have gone 0-for-8 with the man advantage.
"Our effort was there," Sutter said. "We worked hard, competed hard. We played well defensively for the most part. We did a good job killing penalties. We just didn't capitalize on our opportunities and that really was the difference in the game here tonight."
The Devils were set to play the final 1:04 of regulation on a power play after Ryan Whitney was whistled for playing with a broken stick. Brian Gionta's slashing minor with 53.4 seconds left ended the 6-on-4 advantage, and the Devils pulled Clemmensen to recover a 5-on-4 edge.
NJD NOTES Bryce Salvador (upper body) missed his fourth straight game.
1 - 0 PIT
Interference on goalkeeper
Abusive language - Misconduct