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Clemmensen gets first shutout in nearly five years as Devils blank Rangers

NHL.com @NHL

NEWARK, N.J. - Scott Clemmensen made 27 saves in posting his first NHL shutout in nearly five years, and Zach Parise scored twice to lift the New Jersey Devils to a 3-0 victory Monday night over the skidding New York Rangers.

The Rangers have dropped a season-high five straight.

Clemmensen, who has 23 wins in place of injured regular Martin Brodeur, wasn't severely tested as he earned his third career shutout and first in 58 games - dating to March 26, 2004, at Atlanta.

His time in the Devils net could be ending soon as Brodeur skated Monday and is close to returning to action. Brodeur has missed 44 games due to a biceps tendon injury sustained earlier this season.

Clemmensen held the Rangers off during five fruitless power plays, including two that were shortened by New York penalties. The Rangers are 0-4-1 in their past five games and are sliding closer to the post-season cutoff line in the Eastern Conference. They are closer to that than they are to the Devils, who lead them by eight points in the Atlantic Division.

Bobby Holik had the first goal, and Parise scored his 32nd this season into an empty net for the Devils, who had lost two consecutive at home.

Henrik Lundqvist was solid but not good enough. He stopped 28 shots after sitting out Friday night's 10-2 loss at Dallas with the flu.

The Devils took a 1-0 lead eight minutes into the second period when a pair of former Rangers teamed up. Brendan Shanahan, playing against New York for the first time since he signed with New Jersey last month, fed a pass in front that was shoved between Lundqvist's pads by Holik.

Shanahan spent the previous two seasons with the Rangers and wanted to return, but he grew tired of waiting for New York to clear salary cap space and offer him a contract. Once he opened negotiations with other teams, the Devils brought him back to the club that made him the No. 2 overall pick in the 1987 NHL draft.

Holik, also in the first season of his second stint with the Devils, was with the Rangers for two seasons before his contract was bought out by New York after the NHL lockout ended in 2005.

Just 22 seconds after Holik's tiebreaking goal, New York's Brandon Dubinsky was sent off for holding to give New Jersey its second power play. Parise needed just over a minute to make it count.

Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner kept the puck in New York's zone by stopping it on the blue line, and fired a shot at Lundqvist. The puck hit traffic in front, and Travis Zajac shoved it to his left to Parise, who steered in a shot. He has three goals in three games and seven in 10. Parise is tied for third in the NHL in goals.

The Rangers, who failed on their first four advantages - all handed out in the first period - then burned their timeout to try to settle things down. They entered the final period down by two goals for the second straight game after generating only 16 total shots in the first two periods.

New York was trying to bounce back from Friday's rout when backup goalie Steve Valiquette was beaten for six goals in the third period. It was the first time the Rangers allowed 10 goals in 16 years.

The bigger problem against the Devils, as has been for much of the season, was the Rangers' lack of offence. They have scored only five times during their skid and are averaging under two goals over the past 12 games.

Notes: Devils D Colin White (sore hand) returned after sitting out Saturday against Los Angeles. ... Holik has four goals this season, but two in five games. ... Rangers D Dmitri Kalinin missed his third straight game due to a back injury. ... A bank of lights in the Prudential Center, in its second season, went out with less than two minutes remaining in the second period. The rink was fully brightened for the third.

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