As Martin Brodeur nears a return to the New Jersey Devils, Scott Clemmensen continues to man the net just fine in his place.
Coming off his first shutout in nearly five years, Clemmensen is likely to be back in goal Wednesday night as the host Devils try for a fifth consecutive victory over the rival New York Islanders.
On the same day Brodeur continued his recovery from bicep tendon surgery by facing shots in practice, Clemmensen made 27 saves in New Jersey's 3-0 home win over the New York Rangers on Monday night.
Clemmensen, who secured the No. 1 goaltending spot after Brodeur was injured on Nov. 1, improved to 23-11-1 with a 2.30 goals-against average for the Atlantic Division-leading Devils (34-17-3).
"Clemmer's been playing some great games, helping the team to stay on top of the division for a while now," Brodeur told the Devils' official Web site.
Brodeur, who was 6-2-2 with a 2.16 GAA prior to the injury, is making progress, but isn't sure when he'll be ready for game action. The Devils, though, are 28-15-1 without the four-time Vezina Trophy winner, a record due largely to Clemmensen's play.
A career backup who played 28 games over his previous five seasons, Clemmensen recorded his first shutout since March 26, 2004 at Atlanta.
"It's been a long time," Clemmensen said of Monday's win over another division rival. "Obviously I haven't played that many games ... but it was nice to get.
"Most important is the way we won. Hopefully we carry that into the next game."
Clemmensen is 1-1-1 with a 2.11 GAA lifetime against the Islanders, who have been outscored 10-4 in losing the previous three contests against the Devils this season. Clemmensen made 32 saves in New Jersey's 3-1 win at New York on Jan. 17 in the most recent meeting.
Zach Parise and Travis Zajac each had a goal in that contest. Both have scored twice against the Islanders this season, while Parise has recorded four assists in the three games.
Parise increased his team-leading goal total and matched a career high with his 32nd of the season after scoring twice against the Rangers, while Zajac added two assists. The victory was the 10th in 12 games for the Devils, who had lost their previous two at home.
The Islanders (17-31-5) enter this contest looking to avoid a fourth straight defeat after falling 4-3 in a shootout at home to Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Doug Weight, Tim Jackman and Andy Hilbert scored for the Islanders, who had won four in a row prior to their current skid. Weight is New York's leading scorer this season against New Jersey with only two points.
"We've played a lot better hockey recently," forward Kyle Okposo told the Islanders' official Web site. "We're competing every night. We're starting to get to the point where we're playing a full 60 minutes."
Yann Danis made 36 saves against Los Angeles, but Joey MacDonald could be in net for his second game since missing six with a strained groin.
MacDonald, who has allowed 15 goals in his last five contests, is 1-2-1 with a 2.50 GAA against New Jersey.