UNIONDALE, N.Y. – The New Jersey Devils and the New York Islanders are neighbouring teams headed in different directions. When they met up on Long Island, that trend remained very much the same.
Zach Parise had a goal and an assist for the Devils, who beat the Islanders 3-1 on Saturday night and stretched their winning streak to three games.
“We played a lot of the game in their zone,” Parise said of New Jersey’s fourth win in five games of a six-game road trip. “We hope to finish off on the right note in Nashville.”
Scott Clemmensen stopped 31 shots for his 17th win of the season, and the first of his career against the Islanders (1-1-1). New Jersey move into a tie for second place in the Atlantic Division with Philadelphia. Both teams have 57 points, but the Devils (27-15-3) have three more wins.
The Islanders, who own the NHL’s worst record, have lost seven consecutive games.
Travis Zajac and David Clarkson also scored for New Jersey.
Blake Comeau had the only Islanders goal. Yann Danis made 33 saves for New York, 2-17-2 since the start of December – including three losing streaks this season of at least five games.
New Jersey capitalized during its first short-handed situation to grab a 1-0 lead at 6:06 of the opening period. Danis had the puck behind his net when Parise stole it and skated in front. Parise’s shot was blocked, but Zajac picked up the rebound and scored into an empty net.
“I went out to get the puck, but it was spinning and I couldn’t stop it,” Danis said. “I just ran out of time to make a play.”
The Devils went up 2-0 just 57 seconds into the second period on their first power play. Plenty of passing resulted in Parise putting in a rebound for his 26th goal.
Clarkson made it 3-0 at 4:58 with a short wrist shot.
“We didn’t play for two periods, and that pretty much says it all,” Islanders coach Scott Gordon said. “Not many teams can afford to play like we did for two periods like we did. We’re in that category.”
Clemmensen was working on his first shutout of the season, but that bid ended at 10:35 of the third when Comeau scored off a rebound.
Still, Clemmensen was pleased.
“This is the best game I’ve played in the last two weeks,” he said. “We jumped on them a little bit, and got a break on that first goal.”
Notes: The Devils are 7-3-2 in their last 12 visits to Long Island. … The Islanders brought back G Wade Dubielewicz by signing him on Thursday after he returned from Russia’s KHL, but Dubielewicz was claimed off waivers by the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. … New York D Brendan Witt was hit in the face by a puck in the third period. … The Islanders enjoyed their third home sellout of the season.