By Jim Diamond
PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) — Brendan Shanahan did not waste
much time making an impact in his season debut as the New Jersey
Devils recorded a 3-1 triumph over the Nashville Predators on
David Clarkson also tallied and All-Star Zach Parise added an
empty-net goal for New Jersey, which concluded its six-game road
trip by winning four in a row to finish with a 5-1-0 record.
“Anytime you go on a six-game road trip and go 5-1, you’ve done
a lot of things pretty well,” New Jersey coach Brent Sutter
said. “As the trip went on, we got better and better.”
Brian Rolston and John Madden notched two assists apiece and
Scott Clemmensen picked up his 18th win following a 33-save
performance for the Devils.
“We have been playing some good hockey lately, and obviously
this road trip was a huge success for us,” Rolston said.
Radek Bonk scored and Pekka Rinne turned aside 32 shots for
Nashville, which dropped its ninth in its last 12 games.
“We just haven’t been able to bury any pucks to get some points
in games lately,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “Hopefully
our fortunes will change over the final 36 games.”
After a scoreless first period, New Jersey struck early in the
With the Devils on a 5-on-3 power play, Shanahan carried the
puck in along the goal line from the left side, deked defender
Greg Zanon to the ice and slid the puck by Rinne on the far
“I was thinking pass, but the defenseman left his feet a little
early, so I just put the puck on net,” Shanahan said. “The goal
certainly gave me a bit of a boost.”
Shanahan was playing in his first game this season after signing
as a free agent with New Jersey on January 15. He picked the
right foe to face in his debut, as his 23 goals scored against
the Predators are the most of any Nashville opponent.
“I was able to get a few good shifts in the first period to find
my legs and then put one away in the second,” said Shanahan, who
recorded a game-high six shots on goal in 13:59 of ice time
“I probably played a bit more than I expected, but I felt good.”
Sutter was pleased with the performance.
“Shanny played great for us,” Sutter said.
Clarkson doubled the New Jersey lead at 3:21 of the second.
Rolston fired a slap shot from the high slot. Clarkson, who was
stationed just to the left of Rinne, tipped the puck by the
Finnish netminder for his 10th goal of the season.
The goal extended Clarkson’s point-scoring streak to a
career-high five games.
Bonk put the Predators on the scoreboard with 5:48 remaining in
the third with a power-play goal.
With Bonk and New Jersey defenseman Bryce Salvador in front of
Clemmensen, former Devil Jason Arnott fired a slap shot from
above the left circle. The shot appeared to strike Salvador and
then squeezed between the pads of Clemmensen, just trickling
across the goal line inside the left post.
“The effort was there, but we just didn’t win,” Arnott said.
“We battled, but we just didn’t get the outcome, and that is the
Parise’s empty-net goal capped the scoring for New Jersey.