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Clarkson helps Devils edge Sharks

NEWARK, New Jersey (Ticker) -- David Clarkson capped a wild

contest with his second goal late in the third period to lift

the New Jersey Devils to a 6-5 win over the San Jose Sharks on

Sunday.

Clarkson finished with two goals and an assist and Brian Rolston

added a goal and set up two more for the Devils, who have won

four straight.

With the scored tied at 5-5 with 3:32 remaining and All-Star Joe

Thornton serving a cross-checking penalty, New Jersey gained

control of the puck in the offensive zone.

Brian Gionta controlled the puck at the left boards and found

Rolston at the blue line on the right side. The left wing

unleashed a slap shot to the front of the net, where Clarkson

got just enough stick on it to send it between Evgeni Nabokov's

pads for his 13th goal of the season.

"It just kind of bounced off me and went right through his

legs," Clarkson said. "It was a great shot by (Rolston). I'm

kind of standing there and screening him, so he doesn't see the

puck and luckily it bounced off me."

New Jersey scored three power-play goals in the third period,

thanks to five penalties by the Sharks in the final session.

"The penalty kill has given up six goals in two games," Sharks

coach Todd McLellan said. "That's one of the problems.

"The other problem is us taking penalties. We took three or

four in the offensive zone today, which isn't good. Sometimes

that's the sign of a tired team, but I'm not sure that's the

case here. We're reaching in a little too much and we have to

use our legs more."

Patrik Elias cleaned up a rebound for his 23rd goal of the

season to tie the game, 4-4, at the 4:49 mark of the third.

Captain Jamie Langenbrunner got the Devils their first lead of

the game less than three minutes later when he cleaned up

another rebound.

"It was a fun game," said Devils left wing Zach Parise, who had

two assists. "I thought it was pretty entertaining for

everyone. But we're happy to be on the winning side. That's a

great hockey team over there. There's definitely a reason why

they are the top team in the West. I thought we played well.

It just shows that if we have to, we can go back-and-forth as a

team."

"I'm not sure 6-5 is the way we'd draw it up, but we'll take

it," Langenbrunner said. "But sometimes you're going to have

those games. It's good that we respond to those things and not

let a game like that scare us away."

Joe Pavelski scored a nifty goal at the 10:56 mark to pull the

Sharks even at 5-5. The 24-year-old center forced a turnover

and came up the slot before backhanding a shot over New Jersey

goaltender Scott Clemmensen's right shoulder for a shorthanded

goal.

"It hit me in the blocker," Clemmensen said. "The guy came in,

made a nice little move with a bad angle on his backhand and got

it up. It hit me square in the blocker and I was looking for

the puck up in the netting. It was a surprise to me."

Captain Patrick Marleau scored his 30th goal of the season and

All-Star Joe Thornton finished with a pair of assists for San

Jose, which finished its five-game road trip 1-1-3.

Nabokov made 23 saves for the Sharks.

"It's not one goal," Nabokov said. "We had the lead going into

the third. We're just not playing ... it's way too casual. We

have to tighten up as a group."

Clemmensen, who was coming off two straight shutouts, finished

with 27 saves for the Devils.

"It was an exciting game," New Jersey coach Brent Sutter said.

"It was back-and-forth. These are two teams that have a lot of

talent on their hockey teams, skill level. That's the way you

want your skill players to play and everyone else falls in

line."

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