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Clarkson, Devils remain hot with win vs. Penguins

Feb 10, 2013, 10:35 PM EDT

davidclarksongetty Getty Images

After all these years – and making it to the 2012 Stanley Cup finals – you’d think people would stop doubting the New Jersey Devils.

Either way, they continued their hot streak on Sunday, taking the second of back-to-back games against the Pittsburgh Penguins with a 3-1 win. That’s the same score from Saturday’s win.

The Devils have won five in a row by a combined score of 16-5, pushing their overall record to 8-1-3 for 19 points. That’s the best mark in the East and second highest total overall behind the Chicago Blackhawks.

This all provides an argument that New Jersey is for real and the same assessment might be appropriate for budding power forward David Clarkson.

The 28-year-old winger scored twice against Pittsburgh tonight to push his season total to nine goals. Overall, he has an impressive 15 points and 50 shots on goal in 12 games.

Many believed that he played over his head last season with a breakthrough 30-goal, 46-point campaign. Now it’s starting to look like it was just a prelude, which is great for both the Devils and Clarkson (who’s an unrestricted free agent this summer).

  1. phillyphanatic77 - Feb 10, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    Clarkson is looking like a beast this season. I thought maybe his 30 goals were a little bit of a fluke (I know he’s been a 15-20 guy), but he’s heading towards a nice payday. He reminds me of a Hartnell-type. Physical, heart and soul player. But man, the Devils are for real. Their system is suffocating, just like it used to be in the late 90s-early 2000s. I think they’re the team I least like to see the Flyers play. Shutting down a team like the Pens two days in a row isn’t easy. Nice job NJ.

    • mpg44 - Feb 10, 2013 at 10:57 PM

      I know it hurt to say that !! And thanks !

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - Feb 11, 2013 at 6:38 AM

      A broom piece on a home & home supposedly against the chosen perennial cup winners ! The team from Jersey beat them like rented mules ! Oh and one other little thing, did you see the fight right off the face off when the penguin kept punching the jersey player when he went down to a knee not once but twice !

      • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 11, 2013 at 7:49 AM

        That was in the very beginning of the fight, you twit. There’s a big difference in throwing at the end of a fight when one player clearly has had enough and in the beginning of a fight when one player has clearly lost his balance.

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - Feb 11, 2013 at 3:55 PM

        Wrong and stop with your hollow praise post of a team that just beat you like a rented mule you direspectful punk ! You come on here and bash other teams repeadiately and disrespect fans of other teams only to try and make nice with them with your fraudulent hollow words when you get beat like a rented mule ! Everybody on here can sniff out your a punk and this is your own coping method after being beat like a rented mule ! You fraud punk !

      • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 11, 2013 at 10:43 PM

        First of all the only teams I disrespect (team AND fans) are the classless acts across state, and every once and a while the bruins. YOU are a perfect example of why I have no respect for the former. Second, if you think your posts are any better than mine, you are delusional enough to be dangerous. You’ve earned nothing but disrespect from me with your ignorant under-educated rants about everyone else.

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - Feb 12, 2013 at 5:50 PM

        Dude don’t take this as an insult it is not intended that way at all but you really don’t know the game ! You are a Penguins fan and not a hockey fan big difference ! You are unable to go next level thinking and that’s ok your brain only can take you so far ! You have some quick wit about you at that’s your strong point but it drastically drops off after that ! Your x’s and o’s are hockey 101 that’s great some don’t even have that ! Iam not gonna knock you for understanding the basics ! You are dilligent with your hatred of flyers fans and I can respect that also but you have to understand that will only take you so far ! If you had to go on a major network and spout your knowledge of the game and what your eyes seen on the ice you would be unemployed real fast Iam assuming you already are thought ! Its a fact , some people when the big game comes and the lights are on they just fumble the ball ! I have quickly lost interest in your post they don’t educate and have become very predictable in the short amount of time I have been subject to them !
        Kind regards eiggles

      • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 12, 2013 at 9:54 PM

        Right…that’s my favorite response from Philly folks…”you just don’t know hockey”…very intellighent. Later – let it go.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 12, 2013 at 9:56 PM

        intelligent – sorry in a hurry. ironic.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 13, 2013 at 8:07 AM

        http://www.gq.com/sports/lists/201104/worst-sports-fans-in-america#slide=14

    • thecheeman - Feb 11, 2013 at 10:54 AM

      The Devils system isn’t the same as it used to be, it’s actually nearly the opposite. The Devils now send in an aggressive two-man forecheck all game long, it used to be the dreaded neutral-zone trap where all the players clogged center ice.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Feb 11, 2013 at 11:36 AM

        I didn’t say it was the same system, I said it’s suffocating like it used to be. The trap and the aggressive forecheck are completely different, but they’re still accomplishing the same goal- keeping the puck out of the Devils end. Whether there are forecheckers in your face or a clogged neutral zone it’s still almost impossible to carry the puck up cleanly, let alone pass it through. Different equation, same result.

      • thecheeman - Feb 11, 2013 at 11:43 AM

        Fair enough you didn’t say that.

        The big x-factor you should look for in the next Flyers-Devils game is Adam Larsson. Something has clicked and he’s making all the right plays effortlessly somehow. The chemistry with Andy Greene, who is also lighting it up, has been beautiful to watch. Sealing off the forechecker while the other guy moves the puck up. It seems like Andy Greene being able to rely on Larsson has also freed up his offensive game. He’s making significant contributions every night it seems.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Feb 11, 2013 at 12:04 PM

        I’ve always been a big fan of the Devils backline, when they aren’t frustrating my Flyers. They’re underrated. I’m not surprised Larsson is finally hitting his stride, he’s got a boatload of talent. They were absolutely raving about the kid when he got picked 4th overall. And now he’s showing flashes. I’m hoping the Flyers can find some weakness in the Devils system. After being dominated consistently over the past two season Laviolette better be coming up with something. I think to beat the Devils you hafta outwork them in the corners. In last years playoff series, the Flyers brought no energy and were just dominated along the boards by the Devils forecheckers. Idk if it can be done, maybe we can just catch on em a bad night, but I’m hoping this matchup doesn’t become the Flyers-Rangers of last season. It also helps when Brodeur or Hedberg don’t have their A-game (which is rare).

      • thecheeman - Feb 11, 2013 at 12:34 PM

        I think a big key to beating the Devils is having a good stick-handling goalie who comes out like Brodeur and doesn’t let the other team get into their forecheck-and-cycle mode. All of the Devils lines are pretty solid on the forecheck. Even Barch this year makes some contribution, whereas Janssen and Boulton were just utterly useless with the puck on their stick at any point on the ice.

        Unfortunately for the Flyers, Bryz sure doesn’t look like that hypothetical stick-handling goalie.

  2. buckeye044 - Feb 10, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    Best team in the east. And yet, everyone will again be shocked when they are Eastern Conference Champions again.

    • jpelle82 - Feb 11, 2013 at 10:09 AM

      i wont be shocked but its crazy still how they lose parise and show no ill effects yet. the fact that their new captain hasnt scored a reg season goal in since 2010 and the owner assigns you your number when you get there speaks volumes about the culture they have around there. nice to see a team keeping it real in the new nhl.

  3. mpg44 - Feb 10, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    Oh my god !!! I can’t believe there is finally a post about the devils actually playing a game !! Guess NBC had no way to avoid this one being as they were the one who showed the game!!

    • govtminion - Feb 11, 2013 at 12:06 AM

      Don’t you say that every time they put up a Devils article?

      • mpg44 - Feb 11, 2013 at 6:24 AM

        This site has not put up a post about an actual game the devils played since well before the 5-1 loss to the penguins . The only reason there is one now is due to they showed the game. Every single other hockey site has a recap of each game. But they certainly pick and chose here.

  4. gbditka - Feb 10, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    Saw multiple publications where the “experts” had the Devils outside the top 8 in this shortened season…just asking the media to keep the spotlight on those market teams with just a few quality players and we’ll see you again in June!

  5. dkphilly1122 - Feb 10, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    Nothing better than seeing the “Team to beat” and odds on “favorite” to win the Cup this year lose. Well played Devils, well played!! Clarkson is a beast and knows his role!!

    • chelseax11 - Feb 11, 2013 at 9:46 AM

      They lost 2 games and are still tied for the most wins in the east with their top D pairing out so you cheesepuffs shouldn’t get too excited. An 8 and 5 record is a .61 win percentage which will easily get them a playoff spot. If they keep the pace they’ve set, it’s 50 wins in a regular season.

      And the Rangers were the favorite to win the cup before January 19th. Aside from the “Vegas Odds”, I don’t know if I read a single article where they weren’t considered the number one favorite. And Vegas odds are not based on actual skill of the team, they are based on the number of biased fans that are willing to bet money on either their team or big name players winning. Any real, educated hockey fan threw the Pens on the same level as the Blackhawks or Boston or Vancouver. Ridiculously talented offensive rosters with equally as ridiculously stressful question marks between the pipes. Having a 1-2 record against the reigning EC Champs is nothing to lose sleep over. Just because the world refuses to admit the Devils consistently bring it every year doesn’t make their roster any less talented.

    • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 11, 2013 at 10:15 AM

      At least you Philly guys have one decent team in the general area to root for, eh?

      • phillyphanatic77 - Feb 11, 2013 at 11:51 AM

        Saying Newark is in the Philadelphia general area is like saying New York and Uniondale are in the general area. So we should root for the Devils, Islanders, and Rangers because it’s the same “general area”? Why not Boston or Buffalo? It’s all the northeast, the same general area. I understand that bitterness has clouded your mind after the Devils took it to the “class of the East” twice, but a basic geography class would do wonders.

  6. bayafan - Feb 10, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    As long as the devils have Lou they should never be counted out. I’m surprised people thought they wouldn’t make the playoffs just because they lost parise but kept the rest of the core team. They must have never watched this team play before. GO DEVILS

  7. jimw81 - Feb 10, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    i counted 4 devils fans. they are a rare breed.

  8. beelza - Feb 11, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    Beautiful irony, Pens can’t win with 2 Frenchies out of the line-up. Flower and Putang. But the best highlight of the game was Crosby and his prepubescent mustache sitting on the bench shaking his head in delusional entitlement. If the Pens can’t win with their roster, they never will again.

    • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 11, 2013 at 7:52 AM

      That’s an intelligent, well thought out observation, except the Pens CAN win with this roster, and are currently in fourth place in the East, with lots of room for improvement.

      Math is hard, huh?

  9. rgledz - Feb 11, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    Wow…..5 of the last 6 posts about east coast teams. Why would you post anything about the only unbeaten team in the NHL winning again tonight when you can write about something the Bruins did? Thank you for the insightful coverage. By the way….Blackhawks win again, only unbeaten team….lead the league with 22 points. I just wanted to squeeze that in there…..now please tell us all about Boucher being called up. I can’t wait to read about it!

    • killerpgh - Feb 11, 2013 at 1:40 AM

      A team the lost twice is not considered unbeaten. But the Hawks are playing some incredible hockey right now.

    • chelseax11 - Feb 11, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      Um, the Devils only have one more regulation loss than the Blackhawks and this was a huge game that decided who would be the leader of the East. Not exactly a pointless game to report on.

  10. comeonnowguys - Feb 11, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    I hate being that guy, but they did lose twice. Shootout or not, they didn’t get the two points.

    PHT can’t post every time they win. Although the team’s first shutout win in 102 or so games would be a decent hook.

  11. killerpgh - Feb 11, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    The devils seem to have the Penguins number. I know MAF didn’t play tonight but he has started most of the games over the past 7 season and the Devils are the only team in the Atlantic he has a sub .500 record against.

    • thecheeman - Feb 11, 2013 at 10:10 AM

      I don’t agree with that.

      The Penguins full roster 10 days ago is still the Devils only regulation loss. Last year the Devils owned the Penguins but that was only until Crosby came back then we were getting worked. I recall the Devils were generally playing great hockey at the end of the year when Zajac came back but the outliers were the Penguins destroying them on St Patrick’s Day.

      Until I see the Devils full squad beat the full Penguins squad I would never want to play them in the playoffs. I think they are actually our worst matchup in the division, but I’d rathter see them than Boston probably.

    • thecheeman - Feb 11, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      Now I checked. We played the Penguins twice in the last 11 games after Crosby’s return. We lost 5-2 twice.

  12. ironman721 - Feb 11, 2013 at 5:50 AM

    Well that was painful. Tip of the cap to NJ and some outstanding goaltending.

  13. csilojohnson - Feb 11, 2013 at 7:18 AM

    Pens got handled again last night. Need to work on discipline.
    Well at least were not Flyers fans. That would be the worst.

    • chelseax11 - Feb 11, 2013 at 10:11 AM

      They need to start playing a full 60 minutes of hockey. They’ve don it maybe twice so far this season. Every single one of their losses was a result of them pouting and getting pissy when they lost a lead or suddenly felt that a 2 goal deficit was impossible to come back from. I didn’t watch last night, but at least twice on Saturday they could have gotten on the powerplay but Malkin and Neal took dumb penalties and it instead went to 4-on-4. YOU HAVE A TOP 3 POWERPLAY IN THE LEAGUE. STOP TAKING STUPID PENALTIES 10 SECONDS INTO THE POWERPLAY, GOSH DARNIT!!!!!

  14. hockeywithdrawal - Feb 11, 2013 at 7:59 AM

    Jersey played great, both days this weekend, and deserved the wins. Those bastards knocked us to fourth. Pens need to straighten that 2nd period of play out, can’t come to play 2 of 3 periods and expect two points. 25 shots on goal per game is just not going to get it done.

  15. philly4lyfe - Feb 11, 2013 at 8:10 AM

    I think the reason a lot of “experts” were betting against the devils going into the season was the loss of parise, the possibility of kovalchuk staying overseas and the fact that broduer isnt getting any younger. but nevertheless, they continue to prove people wrong. good for them.

  16. cerealrapist - Feb 11, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    I really want to post something about how good the Devils are, how it’s their system that wins games – not individuals, how losing Parise wasnt as big of a deal as it was made out to be, how Marty and Hedberg seem like they could be winning games in their 50s… But it seems like everyone has realized all those things finally.

  17. mpg44 - Feb 11, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    I guess Crosby can make time now to go get his lip waxed!!!

    • cerealrapist - Feb 11, 2013 at 9:13 AM

      Awesome comment.

    • seanaveryrules - Feb 11, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      haha Crosby is the biggest baby to ever play hockey

  18. nvillano - Feb 11, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    Is Crosby still the best in the league? Is Malkin better? Are they bpth slipping while others like Giroux, Stamkos and dare I say Clarkson start to show offensive skills similar to theirs?
    http://sportsenvy.blogspot.com/2013/02/is-crosby-actually-better-than-malkin.html

    • seanaveryrules - Feb 11, 2013 at 1:32 PM

      Clarkson is terrible lol…all his goals are garbage goals or just pure luck…goals are going in off his ass while he is facing the wrong way…it’s UNREAL

  19. thecheeman - Feb 11, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    There was one stretch in the third when the Penguins were making bang-bang passes around the offensive zone before the Devils could rotate around and you can see how scary the Pens are when they get it all together, but man that second period the Devils dominated, and there was body-banging all over the ice.

    Clarkson has emerged like an animal since the Devils hired De Boer his junior coach. He’s so strong and once he starts circling around from behind the net and leans into you he always puts the puck in an area where good things can happen, not that they always do.

    Somehow flying under the radar is $100M man Kovalchuk, who sometimes only needs that one look a game to make you pay. Outrageously quick wrist-snap release to beat Vokoun 5-hole. That’s two of the last three games when the defender played the other guy in a 2-on-1 when Kovy came in with the puck on the left. It’s a testament to how good a passer he is but it’s also insanity. You have to force him to give up the puck.

    Respect to the Penguins who still played a tough game yesterday. No chippy stuff like on Saturday. I’m not going to crow too hard about beating the Penguins twice without Letang, but it still feels damn good.

    • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 11, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      Live it up, a-hole.

      Actually I’m kidding – I agree on all counts, they were two good games, NJD deserved both wins and the goaltending is ridiculous on that team. Clarkson is a freaking tyrant.

      Pens have had some, eh, we’ll call them ‘motivational issues’ in the 2nd period lately..they’ll get through it. Need to shoot the puck more, too – as great as the goaltending was for NJD we didn’t make them stop more than 25 either day.

  20. pwilson264 - Feb 11, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    granted the devils are on a roll now. and i said now, but time will tell, with this shorten season, will the migty marty melt down, huh, BUT, you got the devil fan’s, the alway’s say WE, devils, what you 5th line center. ???

    • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 11, 2013 at 10:46 AM

      Um, what? Did you just have a stroke while you were typing?

      • seanaveryrules - Feb 11, 2013 at 1:29 PM

        either that or he has been drinking a bit too early today

    • 950003cups - Feb 11, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      What a tool! LOL

      I think I can decode that comment. When fans (of all teams in all sports) say WE he/she asks if we actually play on the ice. Only he/she is insinuating that its only Devils fans who refer to their team as “we”

  21. philly4lyfe - Feb 11, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    i dont think anyone from philly is routing for the devils, especially after how they handled us in the playoffs last year. I think its more routing against the pens since they are our biggest rival.

  22. Steeley McBeam - Feb 11, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    Devils played great especially with the lead.

    Pens need Letang back. Hes really the QB of their offense from the point. It starts with his breakout and continues through the neutral zone into the offensive zone. He has vision and can find the open player to start the fast break. Thats whats been missing these past 2 games.

    Funny how everyone claims the Pens are dead 2 games after a 5 game winning steak. You guys will look for any excuse to show your hate wont you?

    • seanaveryrules - Feb 11, 2013 at 1:28 PM

      The Penguins are absolutely TERRIBLE…they will get bounced out of the playoffs fast…shot their load way too quickly this season

  23. seanaveryrules - Feb 11, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    Clarkson has the best luck in the world…this guy is the KING of BS, GARBAGE goals… he has absolutely no talent…can’t shoot, can’t pass, and can barely fight middleweights…this guy has no place in the league

    • 950003cups - Feb 11, 2013 at 1:45 PM

      No place in the league? How about “2ND IN THE LEAGUE IN SCORING” Is that a good enough place? I thought Parise was the KING of garbage goals???

      • 950003cups - Feb 11, 2013 at 1:57 PM

        Oh and Parise sucks at fighting. Got his butt kicked by a guy 3 inches shorter than him who never fights either (Dan Boyle). Couldn’t protect himself when Rinaldo slew footed him. Kovy had to protect him.

        Clarkson is good. He’s playing under a coach who knows him and Clarkson has this feeling of gratitude for Deboer convincing him to stay in hockey when he was gonna quit as a junior.

  24. 950003cups - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Oh and your boy Avery was a scared little kitten. He would never fight Clarkson. In fact, he was so scared, he quit from the league all together. He surely could have signed elsewhere for league minimum. But he was too afraid of something.

  25. pwilson264 - Feb 12, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    i made an earlier comment, about devil fan’s using, the term we devils. i like to retract that comment. early that day i ran into, at the local store that i go to, was, and i guess every team has one, an overly opinionated fan, and he did not know when to just shut the f, up. i know this doesn’t reflect all devil fan’s. everyone was counting the devils out with the lost of parise. but they haven’t skipped a beat. good for them may be a repeat of the last lock out.

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