|NJD||0||2||1||(0 - 0)||3|
|NSH||0||0||1||(0 - 0)||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.
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.
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."
|PPG - Brendan Shanahan (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Brian Rolston (5), Jamie Langenbrunner (26)|
1 - 0 NJD
|David Clarkson (10) Tip-in - ASST: Brian Rolston (6), John Madden (10)|
2 - 0 NJD
|PPG - Radek Bonk (5) Slapshot - ASST: Jason Arnott (14), Ryan Suter (20)|
2 - 1 NJD
|EN - Zach Parise (27) Wrist shot - ASST: Patrik Elias (33), John Madden (11)|
3 - 1 NJD
|Brian Rolston Hooking against Ville Koistinen|
|Bobby Holik Tripping against Jerred Smithson|
|Wade Belak Fighting (maj) against Michael Rupp|
|Michael Rupp Fighting (maj) against Wade Belak|
|David Legwand Tripping against Paul Martin|
|Dan Hamhuis Hooking against Travis Zajac|
|Mike Mottau Hooking against David Legwand|
|Jordin Tootoo Hi-sticking against Mike Mottau|
|Jamie Langenbrunner Interference against Joel Ward|
|David Clarkson Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|SA: 34||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 33||EV: 29 - 29|
|PIM: 0||PP: 4 - 5|
|SV%: .971||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 34||TOI: 59:08|
|Saves: 32||EV: 19 - 20|
|PIM: 0||PP: 9 - 10|
|SV%: .941||SH: 4 - 4|