"I'll be ready. Thirty four years old and (making) my first start in the playoffs," Clemmensen said to The Star-Ledger. "I've felt very much a part of this team all year long. I've played pretty much regularly all year long."
The Iowa native and Boston College product will be making his first career Stanley Cup postseason start after backstopping Florida to a come-from-behind 4-3 victory in Game 3 on Tuesday night at the Prudential Center. He relieved Jose Theodore just over six minutes into the contest, with the host Devils up, 3-0.
Clemmensen then stopped all 19 shots he faced to pick up his first-ever NHL playoff win, although a potential tying goal by New Jersey late in the second period was disallowed due to goalie interference by a Devils player. The Panthers scored three times on the power play, giving them six power-play tallies in 10 attempts in the first three games of the series so far.
Clemmensen, who went 14-6-6 during the regular season for Florida, is now 5-0 lifetime against New Jersey, for whom he played from 2001 to 2007, and again during the 2008-09 campaign when he registered 25 wins and was named the Devils' Unsung Hero by his teammates.
Florida leads the best-of-seven series with New Jersey, two games to one. Game 5 will be played in Sunrise, FL on Saturday night.
"We want to win tonight's game and go home 3-1 back in Florida," added Clemmensen. If you can paint a perfect picture, that's obviously what it would be for us tonight. How it goes is up to us and up to fate a little bit."
Across the way tonight, he'll be facing former Devils teammate and mentor Martin Brodeur, who was pulled from Tuesday's game after stopping 9-of-12 Florida shots.
"I don't believe it will affect him too much," Clemmensen said of Brodeur, "with his mentality and his personality and obviously the experience he has. He's a guy that has weathered more than a few storms and knows how to bounce back. I don't have to speak for him."
He just wants to beat him, particularly tonight.
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