NEWARK, N.J. (AP)—The biceps injury that will sideline Marty Brodeur for four months has given Scott Clemmensen a chance to prove he’s more than a backup goalie.
Clemmensen, getting a second straight start, stopped all three Washington shooters after Zach Parise scored the only goal in the shootout and the New Jersey Devils ended a four-game losing streak with a 6-5 victory over the Capitals on Saturday night.
“I want to play well,” Clemmensen said. “This is my eighth year as a pro and I have to take advantage of these opportunities. It’s something you prepare for, and you wait your whole career for something like this. I’m not trying to replace Marty, but the situation is what it is, and I’m trying to showcase what I can do out there.”
In regulation, Patrik Elias scored twice and David Clarkson, Jamie Langenbrunner and Brian Gionta added goals as New Jersey gained a split of the home-and-home series following the Capitals 3-1 win Friday night in Washington.
Ovechkin sent the game into overtime with his second goal of the game, coming with a second remaining in regulation. In a wild goalmouth scramble, the puck came right to Ovechkin, who was all alone to the left of the wide-open Devils net. He slammed the puck home before racing to Capitals’ bench for a raucous celebration while a video review confirmed that the puck crossed the goal line before time expired.
“It was an unbelievable feeling,” Ovechkin said. “You think the game is probably over and you score the goal. Your emotions start flying.”
On the goal, Ovechkin let everyone else make the first move.
“Everybody seemed to go down and I just waited to see what was going to happen,” Ovechkin said. “I didn’t try to do anything but shoot the puck, and celebrate.”
While the Capitals mobbed Ovechkin, Devils coach Brent Sutter gave Clemmensen credit for not letting the last-second disappointment carry over into the overtime and the shootout.
“He showed a lot of poise,” Sutter said. “He doesn’t get rattled by those things. He has a very calm personality to begin with, and he brings that onto the ice.”
“You look for positives,” said Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau. “We showed character in never quitting and we had an awful lot of chances to quit and die, because we made a ton of mistakes out there, but we ended up getting a point.”
Washington led 2-1 after one on goals by Fleischmann and Ovechkin.
After Clarkson staked New Jersey to the lead 1:09 into the game, Fleischmann rifled a power-play goal from the right dot past Clemmensen at 6:59.
Ovechkin extended his goal-scoring streak to four with just under a minute left, deflecting Tyler Sloan’s point shot.
In the second, Kozlov scored with 3:17 remaining to knot the game at 3 after Langenbrunner and Elias gave the Devils the lead.
Langenbrunner pulled New Jersey even with a shot from the high slot 41 second into the period. Elias put New Jersey up 3-2, poking in a power-play goal at 3:27. Theodore was slow to get up after the score following a collision with Travis Zajac who was crosschecked into the crease by Washington defenseman Brooks Laich.
Theodore shook it off, making a brilliant stop later the period on Parise’s wraparound attempt. Theodore dove across the goalmouth, sticking away Parise’s bid.
Kozlov then provided the equalizer following a faceoff stalemate between John Madden and Backstrom in the right circle. The puck barely budged, allowing Kozlov to alertly step in and drill a shot past Clemmensen.
The teams traded goals in the third with Elias giving the Devils a 4-3 lead at 6:06 only to have Backstrom pull the Capitals even at 8:11. Gionta scored for the Devils at 11:40, a goal that looked like the winner until Ovechkin connected as time expired.
Washington played without NHL scoring leader Alexander Semin. He missed the third period Friday with an undisclosed upper-body injury.
The Devils played their third game in a span of four nights. … Michael Nylander, struggling with only one point in the previous seven games, returned for Washington after sitting Friday as a healthy scratch. … Brian Rolston, New Jersey’s top offseason free-agent signing, had a setback in the recovery from a high ankle sprain and has stopped skating.