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Clemmensen blanks Bruins for second straight shutout

PA Stats Inc
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The Hockey News
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Clemmensen blanks Bruins for second straight shutout

PA Stats Inc
By:

NEWARK, New Jersey (Ticker) -- While injured goaltender Martin
Brodeur continues to get healthier, Scott Clemmensen grows
stronger. It is a quandary in which the New Jersey Devils are
happy to be.

Clemmensen made 31 saves en route to his second straight shutout
and defenseman Bryce Salvador scored in the second period as the
Devils extended their winning streak to three games with a 1-0
victory over the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Bruins on
Friday.

The 31-year-old Clemmensen turned aside 10 shots in the first
period, 13 in the second and eight in the third to secure his
second blanking of the season and fourth career.

"Mentally, for a goalie, it's easier when the game's tight like
this," Clemmensen said. "Next thing you know, you win the game,
1-0. It's a good problem to have when we have a big lead. I'm
definitely not going to say we should try and win all these
games 1-0, that's for sure."

By shutting down the New York Rangers in a 3-0 win on Monday,
Clemmensen posted his first shutout in 58 games dating to March
26, 2004.

All-Star Tim Thomas made 17 saves for the Bruins, who have
dropped three in a row (0-2-1) for just the second time this
season.

"The way we showed up today is the way we've got to play, it's
the way we're going to win, that's the way we've been winning
games," Boston's Patrice Bergeron said. "We have to do the same
things and have a better finish."

After tearing a distal biceps tendon in a 6-1 win over the
Atlanta Thrashers on November 1, Brodeur has been on the shelf.
Clemmensen valiantly has picked up the workload of his four-time
Vezina Trophy-winning teammate.

"It's taken me so long, it's been so hard to get here, that I'm
not going to take any game for granted or any situation for
granted," Clemmensen said.

Brodeur worked out with the Devils for 20 minutes during
Friday's morning skate and will participate in their next
practice over the weekend.

Although the nine-time All-Star is aiming to come back in time
to face Colorado on February 26, New Jersey will not confirm his
exact date of return. Either way, Clemmensen will remain as a
vital contributor for the Devils, who are second in the East
with 75 points.

With his sparkling effort in this one, Clemmensen improved to
24-11-1 this season after registering just eight victories over
his previous five campaigns. Meanwhile, New Jersey improved to
2-1-0 against Boston this season.

"Going into the game tonight, we knew it was going to be a tight
game," Devils coach Brent Sutter said. "And that's what it was.
I think the guys were all aware of where Boston is in the
standings and where we are in the standings.

"Tonight, it was like playoff hockey. All three games between
the Bruins and ourselves have been very tight, playoff-type
games."

Clemmensen became the first goaltender to post back-to-back
shutouts for the Devils since Brodeur accomplished the feat from
November 26-28, 2006.

"There's been so much focus on one guy," Sutter said of
Brodeur's high-profile absence. "And I'm not neglecting that
whatsoever, and I respect that because of his stature. I think
there hasn't been enough credit given to other individuals and
to the rest of the team.

"Everyone knows you have to have goaltending to be successful,
and Marty is what he is. He is the best goaltender to play the
game, as far as I'm concerned. Our goaltending has been rock
solid. But you need a good team in front of your goaltender.
It goes hand in hand."

Salvador gave Clemmensen all the help he needed with 9:06
remaining in the second session, firing a slap shot from the
slot past Thomas after John Madden won a faceoff and slid the
puck toward the blue-liner.

"It looked like we planned it, but we didn't," Madden said. "We
were able to win a draw, Bryce put a shot on net that I'm sure
Timmy Thomas would like to have back. But it found its way in,
and that was the difference.

"We used all four lines, and that's what you have to do against
that team. They use four lines and they come at you a couple of
different ways, and we were able to match it."

Salvador, who tallied for the first time in 22 games, was happy
to contribute offensively.

"Anytime you can help the team win by scoring a goal, it's
nice," he said. "The more important thing is that the team
played well. Clemmer was solid in net and gave us a chance to
win and allowed the one goal to hold tonight."

The Bruins, who fell to 20-6-3 on the road, have gone 2-for-32
on the power play over their last eight contests.

"You always want to get to the net more, that's where the
majority of chances come from," Boston rookie Blake Wheeler
said. "I think we need to get to the net more. We were trying
to tie it up there and force overtime, but their goalie played
well."

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Clemmensen blanks Bruins for second straight shutout