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Drouin-Deslauriers, Oilers stymie injury-plagued Devils

NEWARK, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Perhaps the New Jersey Devils'

biggest problem is not Martin Brodeur's injury.

Rookie Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers made 37 saves and was supported

by a second-period scoring spurt as the Edmonton Oilers took

advantage of the injury-plagued Devils' fizzling offense in a

2-1 victory on Sunday.

"I thought he played very well and just looked solid," Oilers

coach Craig MacTavish said. "There were lots of point shots and

he was just in the right spot and made a couple of really good

saves. He was solid all the way through."

Former Devil defenseman Sheldon Souray netted his fifth goal of

the season and Ales Hemsky tallied with the man advantage, while

Drouin-Deslauriers turned aside all 20 shots he faced in the

second as Edmonton snapped a two-game losing skid.

"We limited our turnovers," Souray said. "We know they're a

team that lives and dies on the turnovers and making a lot of

their offense from good defense. I thought we kept it simple.

When we had it in our zone, we didn't panic."

Playing in his third career contest, the 24-year-old

Drouin-Deslauriers notched his second win.

"I felt pretty good. Obviously it's always good when you win,"

Drouin-Deslauriers said. "Guys played great in front of me,

they blocked a lot of shots. I tried to be calm. That's how I

prepare. I think the guys helped me a lot, too. That's why we

won tonight. They let me see the puck the whole game."

Zach Parise scored his 11th goal of the season in the third for

the Devils, who were without eight players due to injury en

route to suffering their sixth loss in eight games. New Jersey

has struggled since Brodeur suffered a torn bicep in his left

elbow, but in areas not associated with the four-time Vezina

Trophy winner.

"We worked hard, but we just couldn't find a way to score," New

Jersey's Travis Zajac said. "We battled for all three periods

and played hard."

The Devils have scored just six goals in their last four games

and Parise has provided the lone tally in each of their last two

contests, including a 3-1 loss to the defending Stanley Cup

champion Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.

"It wasn't that the effort wasn't there, we're not converting on

our chances," Parise said. "We got two goals in the last two

games. We got to start putting some in the net."

Starting three straight contests in the wake of Brodeur's

injury, goaltender Kevin Weekes was rested in favor of Scott

Clemmensen. Clemmensen made 26 saves in his first NHL game

since suffering a 6-2 loss on January 3 in Pittsburgh as a

member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

When news broke that Brodeur was slated to miss at least three

months, the Devils recalled the 31-year-old Clemmensen from

Lowell of the American Hockey League. He was 4-3-1 with a 3.46

goals-against average in eight games this season with the minor

league affiliate, and provided a stellar effort in his first

outing with the Devils since April 8, 2007 in this one.

Clemmensen was first exposed when Souray fired a wrister from

the inside left faceoff circle seven minutes into the second.

Hemsky followed six minutes later, weaving through several

defenders in the slot and taking advantage of a mistake by

Devils blue-liner Johnny Oduya. Oduya tapped the puck away from

a charging Hemsky, but the Oilers' 25-year-old budding star kept

possession and guided the puck under Clemmensen's pads with his


"We played hard," Devils coach Brent Sutter said. "You have a

power play and you don't score on it, get some quality scoring

chances. They get the next power play and they go down and

score. It puts them up, 2-0. It's tough. You're battling,

competing, but you try and do what you can."

Hemsky, who also had an assist, now has points in eight

consecutive games on the road, recording five goals and six

assists in that span.

"I'm really confident with the puck," Hemsky said. "If I get

the puck on the fly, I'm really confident I can beat a guy. I

feel good. I'm just trying to play my game and make plays."

The Devils were without right wing Brian Gionta and defenseman

Bryce Salvador, who both suffered injuries in the loss to

Detroit on Saturday. Fellow blue-liner Paul Martin also mussed

his fourth straight contest with upper body soreness.

"We just keep plugging away," Clemmensen said. "We came up

short the last couple of games, but our work ethic is good. We

put a lot of shots on net, especially tonight. You don't get

down, it's not going to do you any good. You keep your nose to

the grindstone, so to speak."



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