Devils seek third straight win tonight in Buffalo
Monday, 12.07.2009 / 7:00 PM
NHL.comDEVILS (19-7-1) at SABRES (16-8-2)
New Jersey 6-3-1; Buffalo 5-4-1
Second of four meetings this season. Buffalo won 4-1 in New Jersey on Oct. 28 during a stretch when the Devils lost four of their opening five home games. Ryan Miller made 31 saves to win a goaltending duel with Martin Brodeur
While the Devils have righted the ship on home ice, the reason for the Sabres to worry about this game is New Jersey’s 10-2-1 record on the road, one of the best in the League. Jacques Lemaire's squad challenged Buffalo's NHL record of 10 straight road wins to open a season before falling one short.
Recovering from a rare clunker against Vancouver on Wednesday, New Jersey secured thrilling wins over Tampa Bay on Friday and Detroit on Saturday. Jamie Langenbrunner
’s goal with 38.1 seconds remaining helped the Devils edge the Lightning 3-2, and a Patrik Elias
shootout tally proved decisive in a 4-3 triumph over the Red Wings.
"We've been successful (in the shootout) so far and it all starts with Marty -- if he doesn't allow much, we have a pretty good shot," Langenbrunner said. "Zach (Parise) answered their goal (by Pavel Datsyuk) and Patty was able to close it out. We wanted the two points tonight but kind of lost control of the game in the third. It was nice to hang on in the end."
A four-game winning streak came to an end Saturday as Henrik Lundqvist shut out Buffalo for 59 minutes before Jason Pominville got the Sabres on the board. New York held on for the 2-1 win at HSBC Arena. Combined with Boston's rout of Toronto, the Bruins leapfrogged over the Sabres into first place in the Northeast Division by one point.
"We can't put our head down," forward Mike Grier told the Buffalo News. "We've got a busy schedule here. We've just got to be ready to work."
Langenbrunner has goals in consecutive games for the Devils to go with three assists during a four-game points streak. … Pominville has two goals and four assists during a four-game points streak for the Sabres. Miller has gone seven straight starts without giving up more than two goals.
New Jersey got forward Jay Pandolfo
and defenseman Johnny Oduya
back against Detroit and are still missing defenseman Paul Martin
(arm) and forwards Dainius Zubrus
(leg) and David Clarkson
Buffalo forward Paul Gaustad (knee) is on injured reserve. Defenseman Chris Butler is nursing a sprained ankle.
The road team has won five consecutive games in this matchup, dating back to a 3-2 shootout win by the Sabres on Feb. 6, 2008.
Buffalo can regain sole possession of the Northeast lead with a victory, while New Jersey enters the night two points behind Pittsburgh in the Atlantic Division.