-- Devils rookie goalie Scott Clemmensen shut out Pittsburgh on 25 shots in his first NHL start and Turner Stevenson had two goals and an assist in New Jersey's 3-0 victory over the Penguins on Tuesday night.
Stevenson had only three goals in 24 games before scoring in each of the first two periods against the team he torments the most. Stevenson has 10 of his 65 NHL goals in 39 career games against Pittsburgh.
Clemmensen, a surprise last-minute starter called up from Albany (AHL), withstood a brief flurry of shots early in the first period to become the second Devils backup goalie to shut out the Penguins in as many games in Pittsburgh. Corey Schwab, who injured a groin Monday in practice and didn't dress, beat them 2-0 on Dec. 27.
Devils regular goalie Martin Brodeur is threatening the NHL record of 15 shutouts in a season -- he has nine in 41 games. He has allowed five goals while going 2-1 against the Penguins this season, losing his last start against them 4-2 on Jan. 7 in New Jersey.
Clemmensen is the first NHL goalie to get a shutout in his first career start since Michael Leighton of the Blackhawks on Jan. 8, 2003, against Phoenix.
The Penguins, losing their sixth straight home game, pressured Clemmensen throughout a first period in which they outshot the Devils 12-4 -- a rare occurrence for a team that has been outshot in 39 of 48 games this season. Seeing so many shots early may have helped the 26-year-old Clemmensen settle down, and he faced only 13 more shots the rest of the game.
Clemmensen's victory was only his sixth all season; he was 5-12-4 with a mediocre 3.07 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage with Albany.
No doubt it helped Clemmensen that he played most of the game with the lead. Stevenson made it 1-0 midway through the first, directing Jeff Friesen's pass into a wide-open net after goalie Jean-Sebastien Aubin slid to his right to defend against Friesen.
Friesen scored his ninth of the season early in the second with a virtual one-man rush; he grabbed the puck along the left wing boards, carried it behind the net, lost it briefly, then tapped it back onto his stick. After emerging on the other side of the net, he beat Aubin from along the edge of the right circle.
Stevenson made it 3-0 late in the second, putting a shot between Aubin's pads after a Penguins giveaway in their own end.
The Penguins are one loss short of tying the club record for consecutive home losses of seven, set from Oct. 8-29, 1983. They have been outscored 29-3 during their losing streak.
New Jersey is 12-4-7 on the road. ... The Penguins have lost their last four. ... New Jersey is 3-2-1 since star D Scott Stevens was lost indefinitely with a concussion. ... The Devils are 3-1-1 against Pittsburgh.