|BUF||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
|NJD||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||3|
GAME: Buffalo Sabres (44-21-6) at New Jersey Devils (36-27-9).
TIME: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
The New Jersey Devils haven't lost to the Buffalo Sabres on home ice in five years. The Devils go for their seventh straight home victory over Buffalo as the teams face off in their final regular-season meeting.
The Sabres have not won at Continental Airlines Arena since a 1-0 shutout on Feb. 22, 2001, although they did defeat the Devils at home once this season, 4-1 on Nov. 15.
The Devils have won two of their last three games after enduring their third three-game losing streak of the season.
Scott Gomez scored the only goal in a shootout Tuesday night, lifting New Jersey to a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. The victory moved the Devils into a tie with the Tampa Bay Lightning for sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 10 games remaining.
Gomez has 26 goals and a team-leading 40 assists. He scored goals in each of the Devils' previous two games before the Ottawa victory, against the Boston Bruins last Thursday and Toronto Maple Leafs Sunday.
"Gomez has been scoring lately," Devils coach Lou Lamoriello said. "He's had a hot hand."
The 26-year-old center has also scored one goal in each of New Jersey's three meetings with Buffalo this season.
The Sabres snapped a season-worst six-game losing streak with Wednesday's 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins. Buffalo needs three more points to clinch the franchise's first playoff berth in five years.
"Having such a long losing streak, it made us take a look at everything and make sure we made the adjustments," Sabres center Daniel Briere said. "Hopefully, we realize that. I really meant it when I said, 'This is going to make us a better team."'
J.P. Dumont scored twice Wednesday for the Sabres, including the game-winning goal 10:40 into the final period. He has three goals and two assists in his last two contests.
STANDINGS: Sabres - 96 points, 2nd place, 7 PB, Northeast Division. Devils - 81 points, 3rd place, 13 PB, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Sabres - Chris Drury, 25 goals; Maxim Afinogenov, 39 assists and 57 points; Andrew Peters, 77 PIM. Devils - Brian Gionta, 40 goals and 70 points; Scott Gomez, 40 assists; Cam Janssen, 91 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Sabres - Power play: 20.9 percent (90 for 431), 2nd in NHL. Penalty killing: 86.2 percent (338 for 392), 3rd. Devils - Power play: 17.3 percent (68 for 393), 20th. Penalty killing: 81.7 percent (254 for 311), 18th.
GOALTENDERS: Sabres - Ryan Miller (26-12-3, 0 SO, 2.62 GAA); Martin Biron (18-7-3, 0, 2.94). Devils - Martin Brodeur (33-23-7, 5, 2.66); Scott Clemmensen (3-4-2, 0, 3.35).
SEASON SERIES: Devils, 2-1.
LAST MEETING: Jan. 7; Devils, 3-2. At Buffalo, Gomez scored the goal that proved to be the game-winner 6:01 into the second period.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Sabres - 21-11-3 on the road; Devils - 22-11-3 at home.
|Mar 30 '06||BUF 1 at NJD 3||Z. Parise|
|Jan 07 '06||NJD 3 at BUF 2||S. Gomez|
|Nov 15 '05||NJD 1 at BUF 4||B. Campbell|
|Oct 28 '05||BUF 2 at NJD 3||S. Brylin|
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