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Ross McKeon

Friday's Three Stars: Clemmensen likes shutouts

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No. 1 star, Scott Clemmensen, New Jersey Devils:
Scott Clemmensen liked pitching a shutout early in the week for the first time in five years so much that he turned around and did it again for a second straight outing Friday night. Clemmensen stopped 31 shots to blank the Eastern Conference's top team, the Boston Bruins. Coupled with 27 saves against the Rangers on Monday, Clemmensen was a perfect 58-for-58 in two games against Original Six teams. Clemmensen has won 34 games in four seasons as Martin Brodeur's backup, and 23 of them have come while the future Hall-of-Famer has been out with an elbow injury this season.

No. 2 star, Craig Rivet, Buffalo Sabres:
The veteran defenseman had enough motivation already facing his most recent ex-teammates, but coupled with the airline tragedy just the night before in suburban Buffalo, Craig Rivet really had reason to entertain and take fans' minds off the somber news. Rivet didn't disappoint. The Sabres' captain enjoyed his most productive offensive game as a member of the Buffalo franchise with three assists during a game-high 24:46 of ice time in a shootout victory over visiting San Jose.

No. 3 star, Chris Mason, St. Louis Blues:
Don't blame Chris Mason if he circles the calendar every time he sees his team facing Chicago. Mason stopped all 22 shots to post his second straight shutout win over the Blackhawks. Mason has been supported with only three goals in the two games – a 1-0 win Friday combined with a 2-0 victory on Jan. 21. Mason's stellar play enabled the Blues to improve to 4-0-1 against rival Chicago.

Honorable mention: Andrei Kostitsyn scored the game-winner with 2:16 remaining in Denver to provide a deserving Jaroslav Halak, who made 46 saves as the Canadiens beat the hard-luck Avalanche. … Joel Lundqvist's first goal of the season was a game-winner and Marty Turco made 32 saves in his franchise-record 25th straight start as the Stars beat the Canucks. … Joe Thornton assisted on San Jose's first four goals during a shootout loss. … Jason Williams scored with 6:55 to play to help snap the six-game winning streak of his former team – Detroit. … Richard Zednik scored the shootout winner for Florida's fifth straight win at home. … Thumbs up to the Sabres for deciding to play Friday night after asked by the league if they would prefer to postpone due to the tragic events from the night before. The fans of the great, tight-knit community that is Buffalo needed three hours of a positive distraction.

Did you know?: Montreal played the 5,998th game in franchise history, but only the second ever on a Friday the 13th. The Canadiens might want to schedule more of them considering they've won both.

Dishonorable mention: The Boston power play is just 2-for-31 and have failed to produce a goal during seven of the last eight games. … The Rangers have lost six straight road games. … The Sharks, who surrendered three power-play goals on their first three short-handed situations Friday, are now 1-11-1 all-time in Buffalo.

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