Series (Game 4 of 4)

New Jersey leads 3-1

Game 1: Friday, December 22nd
Game 2: Friday, December 29th
Game 3: Saturday, February 24th
Game 4: Sunday, February 25th

Devils 3

(39-18-6, 84 pts)

Capitals 2

(24-29-10, 58 pts)

1:00 PM ET, February 25, 2007

Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia

1 2 3 T
NJ 0 1 23
WSH 1 0 12

T. Zajac (Devils - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Z. Parise (Devils - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

B. Johnson (Capitals - G): Saves: 26, Save Pct.: .897

Devils-Capitals Preview


The New Jersey Devils may give Martin Brodeur his last day off before the postseason.

Scott Clemmensen could get a rare start as the Atlantic Division-leading Devils (38-18-6) look to salvage a home-and-home split with the Washington Capitals on Sunday at the Verizon Center.

Brodeur -- making his 32nd straight start -- made 26 saves in New Jersey's 4-2 loss to the Capitals on Saturday, and Devils coach Claude Julien hinted that the nine-time All-Star may sit for this contest. That means Clemmensen could make his first start since Dec. 14, when he allowed four goals in a 5-3 loss at Boston to fall to 0-1-1 with a 3.60 goals-against average in three games.

After leading Boston College to Hockey East and NCAA championships in 2001, Clemmensen made his NHL debut against the Capitals on Oct. 6, 2001, and stopped four of five shots in the third period of a 6-1 loss. For his career, the 27-year-old Clemmensen has appeared in just 22 games with 15 starts, and is 6-6-3 with a 2.84 GAA and two shutouts.

After Washington took a 3-0 lead early in the second period, Jay Pandolfo assisted on enforcer Cam Janssen's first NHL goal and later scored his ninth goal Saturday during New Jersey's first home loss to the Capitals since March 29, 2002.

"It was pretty obvious we didn't have our best game," Julien said. "It took us a couple of periods to get ourselves going. By that time, the damage was done."

Alexander Semin had a goal -- his 32nd -- and an assist Saturday as Washington (24-28-10) posted just its second road win in 15 games. Alexander Ovechkin assisted on Semin's goal to snap a four-game point drought, but the reigning Calder Trophy winner remains mired in the worst slump of his brief career.

After playing in the All-Star game, Ovechkin scored goals in four straight contests coming out of the break. In his last 10 games, though, he's managed only one goal and two assists and Washington has gone 3-4-3 in that span.

The Capitals are 21-18-7 when Ovechkin scores a point, but just 3-10-3 when he doesn't.

Brent Johnson, playing in place of the injured Olaf Kolzig, made 29 saves for his first win since Dec. 15. He said being patient was the key to victory.

"They are a team that waits to capitalize on your mistakes and then they jump on you," Johnson said of New Jersey. "Today, we were really patient. We didn't make mistakes in the neutral zone. We had the perfect game plan."

With Kolzig out until early March with a knee injury, Captials coach Glen Hanlon may rest Johnson and start backup Frederic Cassivi in this game. Cassivi has appeared in one NHL game for Washington, a 4-3 loss to New Jersey on Nov. 11, 2005.