BUFFALO -- Tyler Ennis and Jason Pominville scored in the shootout as the Buffalo Sabres defeated the New Jersey Devils 4-3 on Saturday at First Niagara Center.
Ennis began the tiebreaker by snapping a shot past Johan Hedberg. After Ryan Miller stopped Ilya Kovalchuk, Pominville fired a wrister past Hedberg before Miller ended the game by stopping Adam Henrique.
The Sabres, playing without leading scorer Thomas Vanek, won their third in a row behind a 28-save performance by Miller. Hedberg, playing in place of injured starter Martin Brodeur, made 20 saves as the Devils lost their fourth in a row.
Pominville scored twice for Buffalo and Jochen Hecht added a third-period goal. Cody Hodgson assisted on both of Pominville's goals.
Hecht scored his first goal of the season 9:47 into the third period to give the Sabres a 3-2 lead. Hecht skated in down the right wing with the puck and started to go in behind the net. The puck ended up on the stick of rookie Mikhail Grigorenko, who passed the puck back to Hecht around the back of the net. Hecht took the puck from the right of Hedberg and banked it in from the side of the net.
New Jersey tied it at 11:22 when Loktionov scored his third of the season. Kovalchuk passed the puck from the left point to Stefan Matteau, who then fed a backhand pass into the slot. Loktionov took the pass, pushed his way into the front of the net and, with Miller down, slid the puck past his right pad.
Pominville's shorthanded goal opened the scoring at 7:17 of the second period.
Hodgson beat Kovalchuk to the puck in the right-wing corner and dished it out in front to Pominville, who one-timed it past Hedberg. The goal was Pominville's eighth of the season and the 10th shorthanded goal of his career. It was Buffalo's second shorthanded goal of the season.
The Devils tied it 2:07 later when a shot from Mark Fayne went off Bernier's midsection and over the goal line.
Steve Ott and David Clarkson dropped the gloves 27 seconds into the game to set the tone for what would be a scrappy, physical game.
Patrick Kaleta and Kovalchuk played their own physical game against each other for most of the first. Following a shift when both players were sent to the box for roughing, Kaleta coaxed Kovalchuk into a high-sticking penalty.
The Sabres' power play, 29th in the NHL entering the game, went 0-for-6. Buffalo squandered two first-period advantages by taking penalties; the Sabres also failed on two power plays in overtime.
Henrique scored shorthanded to put the Devils ahead 1:21 into the third period. Buffalo opened the period on the power play after Ryan Carter cross-checked Kaleta into the boards in the Sabres zone as the second period expired. Henrique skated down the left wing and avoided the reaches of Ott and Pominville as he went in alone on Miller. Henrique moved the puck back to his forehand and wristed a shot over Miller's blocker for his fifth goal of the season.
Henrique has five shorthanded goals in his NHL career.
Pominville answered with his second goal of the game at 3:10. Hodgson found him across the ice and sent a perfect pass that Pominville shot in from one knee.
Vanek, Buffalo's leading scorer, missed the game with an upper-body injury. Forward Brian Flynn was recalled from the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League to make his NHL debut. The Sabres placed defenseman Jordan Leopold on injured reserve.
Carter returned to the Devils' lineup after missing four games with a concussion.
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