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Johan Hedberg stops 22 shots, Bernier scores twice in Devils' 3-0 win over Islanders

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

UNIONDALE, N.Y. - Martin Brodeur isn't the only New Jersey Devils goalie who knows a thing or two about shutouts.

Veteran backup Johan Hedberg made 22 saves for his 22nd career blanking, and Steve Bernier scored two of New Jersey's three third-period goals in the Devils' 3-0 victory over the New York Islanders on Sunday.

The game was scoreless until Bernier broke the deadlock with a power-play goal with 3:54 remaining. He doubled New Jersey's lead just 1:10 later, and David Clarkson sealed the win with an empty-net goal in the final minute as the Devils snapped a four-game losing streak (0-1-3).

"We're going to have to have contributions from all kinds of different people," Devils coach Pete DeBoer said. "It's nice to be able to get the win."

Hedberg's biggest save came 8:08 into the third period when he denied Michael Grabner on a short-handed breakaway.

"He had a few breakaways against us, especially short-handed," Hedberg said of the speedy Grabner. "Just tried to come out and try to match his speed as (well) as possible.

"He's one of the quickest players in the world, I think. I haven't seen him do that move before. I've seen him shoot, I've seen him go to the backhand and now something else."

Evgeni Nabokov was strong in making 24 saves for New York. His best stop was 2:05 into the second when he snared a drive by Patrik Elias following Brian Strait's giveaway in the Islanders zone.

"He played well. Kept us in, especially in the second period when they gained some momentum," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "(New Jersey) came at us pretty hard. I thought both goalies played well. Nabby gave us a chance to win the game."

However, he couldn't stop Bernier's rebound putback of Adam Henrique's shot that was blocked in front.

Bernier struck again soon after with his second of the game and third of the season—all against the Islanders.

"We were buzzing around on the power play and we (shot) the puck and go for the rebound. That's exactly what happened," Bernier said. "On the second, our line (Stephen Gionta and Ryan Carter) did a great job on the forecheck. We were able to keep the puck in.

"I was trying to put the puck in the right places in front of Nabby where I (would) be able to get the rebound and the puck went in. It's great. Obviously great work by everybody on the ice."

The teams took turns controlling playing throughout the first 55 minutes. New York outshot the Devils 10-7 in a high-tempo first period, and New Jersey clamped down on defence in the second.

New Jersey killed all seven New York power plays. The Islanders stifled the Devils' first two advantages before Bernier broke through with the winning goal on New Jersey's third power play.

The Islanders generated only five shots in their 11:30 of power-play time. New York entered the day with the NHL's most potent power play.

"We can't get too frustrated. We had our opportunities on the power play," Capuano said. "They came a little bit more aggressive, I thought. They probably made a few adjustments, but again I thought we got in the zone in our entries the way that we had to but after that there was no energy.

"They were winning all the puck battles. We weren't moving our feet. We weren't functioning properly."

NOTES: New York scratched defencemen Joe Finley and Radek Martinek, and RW Colin McDonald. New Jersey scratched defencemen Peter Harrold and Henrik Tallinder, and C Stefan Matteau. .The Islanders and Devils will play twice more this season—Feb. 16 at Nassau Coliseum, and April 1 in New Jersey. ... The announced attendance was 11,558.


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