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Devils back in action this Thursday vs. Cats

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils – After three games in four nights to end the week, the Devils are off until back-to-back home games Thursday versus Florida (6-9-1) and Friday against the Islanders (6-9-2). The Panthers have just two wins in their last nine, while the Isles swept a weekend home-and-home with Ottawa.

New Jersey begins a five-game road trip beginning Sunday, Nov. 23 at Tampa and continuing Wednesday, Nov. 26 at Florida; Saturday, Nov. 29 at Pittsburgh; Thursday, Dec. 4 at Philadelphia; and Saturday, Dec. 6 at Montreal.

Parise has continued his brisk scoring pace.
The Devils (8-7-2) improved to 5-4-1 on home ice with Saturday's 6-5 shootout win over the Capitals, and own a 3-3-1 mark on the road.

Patrik Elias scored twice and Zach Parise notched the lone goal in the shootout. New Jersey led four different times but went on to snap a four-game losing streak.

David Clarkson, Jamie Langenbrunner and Brian Gionta also scored.

After four games without a power-play tally, the Devils ended the skid Saturday by finishing 1-for-4, and will look to carry some momentum into the match-up with Florida. The Panthers' 20th-ranked penalty kill has allowed 15 PPG in 16 games.

Three of the Devils' next four games are outside the division, where the club is 6-4-1 this season. The club is 2-3-1 against Atlantic Division opponents, having registered wins against the Islanders and Penguins and going a combined 0-3-1 versus the Rangers and Flyers. 

They will play four of five within the Atlantic between Nov. 29 (Pittsburgh) and Dec. 12 (Rangers).

Zach on track
Parise, the Devils' leading scorer, posted his 19th and 20th points (12g-8a) with two assists Saturday. He has six points in five games (3g-3a), and has a point in 13 of 17 games this season. Parise has yet to go more than two straight contests this season without cracking the scoresheet.

Following his two goals and an assist against Washington, Elias (7g-6a) is tied for second with Travis Zajac (2g-11a), who matched a single-game career high with a three-assist/point night versus the Caps. Zajac leads the team with a plus-eight rating.

Between the pipes
Scott Clemmensen was 1-1-0 with a 3.38 goals-against average in his first back-to-back starts as a Devil since 2005. Clemmensen stopped 24 of 26 in Washington Friday night, then made 25 saves Saturday before finishing 3-for-3 in the shootout. He denied Viktor Kozlov, Alex Ovechkin, then poked the puck away from Boyd Gordon to seal his first win as a Devil since Feb. 25, 2007 at Washington.

Overall, Clemmensen improved to 1-2-0 with a 2.96 GAA and .901 save percentage in four appearances this season.

Bolstered blueline
Paul Martin played Friday and Saturday after missing five games with upper body soreness. The leading scorer on the Devils' blueline last season, Martin saw 22:03 of ice time Friday and 26:30 on Saturday. Both nights, he was among the team's TOI leaders on the power play, which will benefit from having the fifth-year defender back in the lineup.

Johnny Oduya assisted on Gionta's third of the season Saturday, and now has four points in five games (4a). He leads all New Jersey defensemen with eight points (8a) and a plus-six rating.

Brian Rolston (ankle, 13 games), Bobby Holik (broken pinky, 12 games), Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond (nasal passage, nine games), Andy Greene (broken hand, seven games), and Martin Brodeur (torn bicep, seven games) remain sidelined.
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