New Jersey Devils Start Second Half Off Strong

levinakl@levinaklCorrespondent IIIJanuary 28, 2009

The Devils started off their second half of the season pretty similar to how the first half ended. On the road for seven out of their last eight games, the Devils defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-1.

Jamie Langenbrunner led the way with two goals (his ninth and tenth of the year), while Patrik Elias (21st) and Brendan Shanahan (2nd, 652nd of career) also scored for New Jersey. 

Langenbrunner's second goal was set up by one of the nicest plays you will ever see.

Zach Parise, while falling down behind the net, had the wherewithal to somehow direct the puck behind him, and right onto the stick of Langenbrunner—who deposited the puck behind Ottawa's Brian Elliott, giving the Devils a 3-1 lead.

In the "who ever would've thought it possible at the beginning of the season?" category, Scott Clemmensen picked up his 20th win of the season between the pipes for New Jersey.

The Devils were able to maintain their Atlantic Division lead with the win.  They remain one point ahead of the Rangers, but the Devils also have a game in hand. 

NOTES:  Congratulations to Zach Parise for scoring a goal in his first All-Star Game appearance.

Although the Devils are tightlipped about details and updates, Martin Brodeur has been given clearance by his doctors to begin skating. He is expected to return around March 1st.  If he returns to his usual form, he should be well rested for the playoff stretch.

Jay Pandolfo was scratched for the third-straight game. It will be interesting to see if he gets back into the lineup in either of the upcoming back-to-back nights in Boston (Thursday) or home for Pittsburgh (Friday).

The fourth line of Brendan Shanahan (652), Bobby Holik (324) and Mike Rupp (27) have combined for an astounding 1,003 career goals and five Stanley Cup rings. You won't see too many fourth lines with that kind of resume these days.