New Jersey
Devils
51-27-4
Nashville
Predators
40-34-8

35 SOG
34 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
NJD
NSH
game recap

Devils 3, Predators 1

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 12:52 AM

Associated Press

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Devils 3, Predators 1
New Jersey Devils 3, Nashville Predators 1

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -Brendan Shanahan's return to the New Jersey Devils was a big success.

Playing his first NHL game in more than eight months, Shanahan broke a scoreless tie in the second period and New Jersey beat the Nashville Predators 3-1 on Monday night for its fourth straight victory.

David Clarkson and Zach Parise also scored for the Devils, who moved ahead of the New York Rangers into first place in the Atlantic Division. New Jersey completed a 5-1 road trip, getting help in the finale from an old pro.

Shanahan, who turns 40 on Friday, scored at 1:38 of the second. He skated in from the left side along the goal line, deked Greg Zanon and fired a shot into the right side of the net, beating goalie Pekka Rinne during a 5-on-3 power play.

Early Period Play Stinging Preds

With a nine-day sabbatical before returning to play, the Predators are going to need to find a way to lock up the early period struggles in order to right the ship. As dire as things may appear right now, Nashville is just six points outside of the eighth and final playoff spot and only eight points behind fifth place Anaheim. With 10 home games during the month of February, there is plenty of opportunity for the Predators to get on a roll.

The Preds have struggled early in periods over the past few weeks, giving up several goals in the opening moments of a frame. Tonight it was two goals in the first 3:21 of the second period (getting out-shot 9-0 in the process). Saturday night Atlanta scored 2:07 into the first period, 2:06 into the second period, and 1:51 into the third period. The game prior, at Montreal, Nashville allowed the eventual game-winning goal just 1:03 into the third period – one week after giving up goals at the 3:29 and 3:50 marks of the second period at home against Pittsburgh to allow the Penguins to expand out to a 3-0 lead. All was forgotten in the Pittsburgh game when Nashville stormed back with five goals to grab the win.

Big months are not uncharted territory for Barry Trotz coached teams … the 2002-03 used an 8-2-1 charge in February to get to the precipice of the post-season only to see injuries squash the momentum and the playoff drive; the next year – ’03-04 – it was a 10-4-2 month in the middle of the season that drove the team to its first playoff appearance; just one season ago, it was a 8-3-3 month of January that catapulted the Preds into the post-season.

Hope is far from lost on the ’08-09 campaign, but the team needs to shore up its lapses early in periods in order to give itself a chance to build some momentum.

--Jay Levin, NashvillePredators.com
It was Shanahan's 651st goal, which ranks 11th on the NHL list. It also gave him 1,341 points, 24th on the career chart. Shanahan has played in 1,491 NHL games.

He has 23 goals in 42 games against the Predators, more than any other player.

Shanahan, who spent the past two seasons with the New York Rangers, made his season debut early in the first period after signing an $800,000, one-year contract Wednesday. It was his first game since May 4, 2008, in the playoffs at Pittsburgh.

Shanahan was drafted by the Devils with the No. 2 pick in 1987. He left the team in 1991, signing a free-agent contract with the St. Louis Blues.

Radek Bonk scored for Nashville, which has lost three straight.

At 3:21 of the second period, Brian Rolston ripped a one-timer from near the top of the slot that was tipped over the left shoulder of Rinne by Clarkson as he battled Jason Arnott in front of the net. It was Rolston's second assist of the game.

Nashville scored at 14:12 of the third period on the power play. Arnott fired a one-timer from above the left circle that bounced off Bonk in front of the net. The puck trickled under the pads of New Jersey goalie Scott Clemmensen.

Parise scored an empty-net goal with 14 seconds left.

Jay Pandolfo was a healthy scratch for New Jersey to make room for Shanahan, a three-time Stanley Cup champion - all with the Detroit Red Wings. He has scored at least 20 goals in 19 consecutive seasons.

Notes: The power-play goal by Shanahan was the first allowed by the Predators on home ice since Dec. 13, ending a string of 33 straight penalty kills at home, tying a franchise record. ... Clemmensen has won his last two starts. ... Jamie Langenbrunner's last two points have both been assists on power plays. ... Nashville's Jerred Smithson left with a lower-body injury in the second period and did not return.

Post-Game Quotes:
Captain Jason Arnott
On tonight’s loss …
"The effort was there, we just didn’t win. If we’re not going to win, we’re not going to make the playoffs. The guys battled a lot better than we did the other night, we just didn’t get the outcome, and that’s the bottom line."

On the All-Star break …
"It’s going to be a disappointing break. We really have to take the break and come back refreshed. It’s a huge uphill battle now to get into the playoffs. We’re in a tough position. When we get back, we have to be ready to go."

"We’re going to have to reflect on why we’re in this position. It’s just the little things that we can do better as a team. We’re not going to score six or seven goals a night, but we have to clean up the little things like turnovers. If we do that, we’re going to be okay."

On what they need to work on …
"We’re scoring enough goals, it’s not like we’re getting shut out. We’re scoring goals, now we just have to defend a lot better."

Forward Steve Sullivan
On tonight’s loss …
"They’re a great defensive hockey club. They’re a club that doesn’t allow many shots, and for us to muster up 34 shots, we had to work hard to get those shots. I think the effort was there. We wanted to redeem ourselves 100%, and obviously we wanted to win, but we didn’t get it. This is a sport of results, and that’s how we’re measured is by our results. We have to start winning if we want to make a push for the playoffs. There’s no reason for us to pout, hang our heads or be negative. We just have to keep staying positive."

On the All-Star break …
"You have to think about individually what you have to do to come back from the break and be better and about what more you can bring to the table to help our hockey club be better when we come back. You also have to take some time off and rest the body. We have a longer break than most teams, and I think it’s a good thing. It’s tougher when you’re losing. It takes more energy physically and mentally. I think that the break comes at a good time. We can reenergize and come back and try to reach the goals that we want to reach."

On confidence …
"We have to believe. The guys bounced back after being booed off the ice like we did, and rightly so. I think it took a lot for us to come back and put in the effort that we did tonight. We honestly wanted to win, but we couldn’t get it."

Goaltender Pekka Rinne
On the All-Star break …
"You think about hockey when you have your days off, but it’s time to get some time away from hockey to relax, then come back and be ready to go. We still have 36 games to go and it’s going to be huge for us if we want to make the playoffs. We just have to play better, that’s it."

 

scoring summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
01:38
NJD
PPG - Brendan Shanahan (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Brian Rolston (5), Jamie Langenbrunner (26)
1 - 0 NJD
03:21
NJD
David Clarkson (10) Tip-in - ASST: Brian Rolston (6), John Madden (10)
2 - 0 NJD
3rd Period
14:12
NSH
PPG - Radek Bonk (5) Slapshot - ASST: Jason Arnott (14), Ryan Suter (20)
2 - 1 NJD
19:46
NJD
EN - Zach Parise (27) Wrist shot - ASST: Patrik Elias (33), John Madden (11)
3 - 1 NJD
penalty summary
1st Period
05:26
NJD
Brian Rolston  Hooking against  Ville Koistinen
10:58
NJD
Bobby Holik  Tripping against  Jerred Smithson
13:36
NSH
Wade Belak  Fighting (maj) against  Mike Rupp
13:36
NJD
Mike Rupp  Fighting (maj) against  Wade Belak
2nd Period
00:16
NSH
David Legwand  Tripping against  Paul Martin
00:19
NSH
Dan Hamhuis  Hooking against  Travis Zajac
3rd Period
04:10
NJD
Mike Mottau  Hooking against  David Legwand
07:53
NSH
Jordin Tootoo  Hi-sticking against  Mike Mottau
08:25
NJD
Jamie Langenbrunner  Interference against  Joel Ward
13:28
NJD
David Clarkson  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
goalie stats
Scott Clemmensen
Scott Clemmensen
18-9-1
SA: 34TOI: 60:00
Saves: 33EV: 29 - 29
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 5
SV%: .971SH: 0 - 0
Pekka Rinne
SA: 34TOI: 59:08
Saves: 32EV: 19 - 20
PIM: 0PP: 9 - 10
SV%: .941SH: 4 - 4

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