Devils 5, Sabres 3 (F)
Clemmensen got his ninth start in the Devils' last 10 games.
The Devils found their way back into the wins column with a balanced attack Wednesday, as five different players scored to lift them to a 5-3 win over the Sabres in Buffalo.
's team-leading 18th goal, sixth on the power play, broke a 1-1 tie in the first period, and the Devils never looked back. New Jersey rebounded from consecutive losses to Buffalo Saturday and Toronto Tuesday with its first victory in three meetings with the Sabres this season.
After Patrick Kaleta brought the Sabres back within one in the second period, David Clarkson
scored and set up Brian Rolston
's goal in a span of 3:27 of the third to put the Devils comfortably ahead.
"We've got different lines, not just the top two [lines]," head coach Brent Sutter said. "It was a big goal by Clarkie and a big goal by Rollie. Those two goals in the third period were huge for us."
and Bryce Salvador
also scored for New Jersey, which took three of a possible four points on the back-to-back and leapfrogged ahead of idle Pittsburgh for third place in the Atlantic Division. The Devils are currently tied with Montreal for fifth in the East.
Scott Clemmensen made 23 saves and has secured all nine of his wins this season in his last 11 starts. Clemmensen has not lost consecutive games since the Devils began the surge that has seen them take 10 of their last 13 contests.
registered his 18th and 19th assists to extend his points streak to eight games and tie Brian Gionta for the club's season-high scoring run.
After closing out the brief road trip on a high note, the Devils return home to open a four-game homestand beginning Friday against Ottawa. New Jersey will host Philadelphia Sunday, followed by Boston Tuesday and Pittsburgh one week from this Friday.
The Devils got off to a quick start Wednesday, scoring in the opening two minutes for the second straight night.
Mike Mottau's shot from the point was safely shielded away by Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller, but Zajac rifled home the rebound from the right circle to make it 1-0 at 1:36. Zajac's eighth of the season gave him 96 career points.
Drew Stafford talied for the second time in as many meetings with the Devils to knot the contest at 1-1.
Clarke MacArthur's centering feed from the left corner redirected off Stafford's left skate and past Clemmensen at 6:58. Similar to Markus Naslund's goal against the Devils last Friday night, the puck went in off of a skate without a kicking motion. After a video review, Stafford was credited with his seventh of the season.
Parise staked the Devils to a 2-1 first-period lead with his second power play goal in as many nights. MacArthur and Henrik Tallinder
were whistled for penalties 50 seconds apart, creating a 1:10 two-man advantage for New Jersey.
, who finished with two assists, faked a shot from the point and fed for Parise at the right of the net. Parise collected and buried his 95th career goal at 11:44.
Elias, who got the secondary assist, also set up Salvador's second of the season to make it 3-1 midway through the second.
Salvador's shot from inside the blue line deflected off Nathan Paetsch in the slot, where Paetsch guarded Gionta. Originally credited to Gionta, the scoring was changed to give Salvador his first goal in 10 games.
Elias' second helper would give him a share of the club's assist lead with Gionta, who also had an assist. Elias improved his totals to five goals and seven assists for 12 points on his current streak. Gionta had five goals and six assists on his points streak from Nov. 14 to Dec. 4.
The Sabres countered just 18 seconds later with the first of two quick responses to Devils goals.
Kaleta cut the lead to 3-2 from the right side of the net, where he eluded the check of Johnny Oduya to put in Daniel Paille's pass at 11:10 of the second.
Two Devils goals in the final frame put New Jersey in the driver's seat.
Clarkson snapped a nine-game goal drought with his sixth, courtesy of a nifty forehand deke against Miller on a partial breakaway at 6:04. He then set up Rolston's first goal in seven games since returning from an ankle sprain.
Clarkson drove hard to the net with the puck, running over Teppo Numminen in front of Miller. Clarkson's rebound sat at the right side of the net, and Rolston made it 5-2 at 9:31 with his second of the year.
The Sabres answered 12 seconds later, when Paul Gaustad converted Jason Pominville's rebound to close out the scoring, 5-3, with 10:17 remaining.
Defenseman Andy Greene
was out of the lineup for a second straight game after he was activated Tuesday from injured reserve. He has missed 20 games with a broken hand.
|Three star selections