NHL Game Summary - San Jose at New Jersey
(Sunday, February 15th)
Final Score: New Jersey 6, San Jose 5
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - David Clarkson scored twice, including the game- winning goal with 3:32 left in the third period as the New Jersey Devils held on to edge the San Jose Sharks, 6-5, at Prudential Center.
Brian Rolston and Brian Gionta each had a goal and two assists, while Jamie Langenbrunner and Patrik Elias had a goal and a helper apiece for the Devils, who have won four straight and 13 of 15.
"I think the way our play responded during the third, and we got the 5-on-3 and just kept rolling from there," Langenbrunner said. "That was huge. It was kind of a ping-pong game, but we never got too down on ourselves."
Scott Clemmensen, who was coming off back-to-back shutouts of Boston and the New York Rangers, stopped 27-of-32 shots for New Jersey, which finished its five-game homestand with a 4-1 record.
"Obviously, our style is we want to clamp down and limit scoring opportunities, playing the trapping system," Clemmensen said. "But it shows you that we can go the other way, too. We got caught playing their game a little bit, running around a little bit. I can't say enough about our team scoring six goals against one of the better teams in the league."
The Devils were without left wing Brendan Shanahan, who was nursing a foot injury, while defenseman Paul Martin missed the contest with upper body soreness.
Patrick Marleau tallied his 30th goal of the season and added an assist, while Rob Blake also chipped in with a goal and a helper for San Jose, which has dropped six of the last seven. The Sharks however have gained at least a point in five of those contests. They finished their five-game road trip with a 1-1-3 mark.
Jonathan Cheechoo, Devin Setoguchi and Joe Pavelski also lit the lamp for the Sharks, who lost for the first time when leading after two periods of play this season.
Evgeni Nabokov made 23 saves for San Jose, which was without defenseman Dan Boyle, who was suffering from the flu.
"Little details, that's what cost us the game," Nabakov said. "As a group, we gave up three power play goals, and the penalty kill is not good. The details, the discipline, it's way too casual. I don't know when we're going to start realizing it's way too casual. We have to be better."
In a penalty-filled frame with the game tied at 5-5, New Jersey got another power-play opportunity when Joe Thornton was whistled for cross checking with 5:01 remaining in the third.
Rolston's low slap shot from the middle point deflected off Clarkson, who was screening Nabokov and the puck got past the netminder to put the Devils in front by a 6-5 margin with 3:32 to play.
The Sharks would get a chance to even the game in the closing minutes while on the power play, but New Jersey would kill off the Johnny Oduya holding minor and prevail.
In a high-scoring first period, Gionta got the Devils on the board 30 seconds into the contest when he tipped home an Elias shot from the right wing circle to give the Devils the early advantage.
However, Blake's tally on a slap shot from the middle slot at 4:34 ended Clemmensen's shutout streak and tied the contest at 1-1.
Rolston then put the Devils back in front when his quick wrist shot from the low right circle at 8:01, but 45 seconds later, the Sharks evened the score when Marleau tipped in a pass from Christian Ehrhoff.
Clarkson's turnaround wrist shot from the high slot put the Devils back in front with 7:19 left in the opening stanza.
Both teams tightened things up on the defensive end for most of the second period, but San Jose got a pair of goals to close out the frame.
First it was Cheechoo lighting the lamp with 3:37 left. The veteran right wing skated down the right side and hammered a slap shot from the right circle that got under the arm of Clemmensen on the stick side to tie things at 3-3.
Then with the Sharks on the power play, Setoguchi took a nice feed from Thornton from behind the net and snapped a quick wrister home from the middle slot with 13 ticks remaining to give the visitors a one-goal lead heading into the intermission.
With the Sharks holding a 4-3 lead, the Devils struck for two quick power-play goals in the third.
Elias got the equalizer when he tapped home a Zach Parise backhand pass from behind the net with Nabokov out of position 4:49 into the frame. Langenbrunner then put home a rebound after the Sharks netminder made a kick save off a Parise slap shot that gave New Jersey a brief 5-4 lead less than three minutes later.
San Jose would then get a shorthanded tally to tie things up again with 9:04 left in the third. Pavelski forced a Devils turnover at center ice, skated down the left side and put a backhander over the shoulder of Clemmensen.
New Jersey begins a three-game road trip on Tuesday at Florida, while the Sharks start a three-game homestand when they welcome Edmonton on Tuesday...New Jersey has won six of the last seven meetings with the Sharks, including four straight at home.
02/16 00:42:38 ET