A Devils fan in Buffalo joined David Clarkson in celebrating his tying goal with 1:07 left in regulation.
newjerseydevils.com (Jan. 12) –Patrik Elias' last shootout winner was worthy of an encore.
Elias capped an unlikely Devils comeback on Saturday night with his second straight shootout-deciding goal to send the Devils to a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena.
David Clarkson tied the game with 1:07 left in regulation as New Jersey rallied back from a 2-0 first-period deficit to notch their third straight win with a third straight shootout victory over the slumping Sabres.
Elias, the only shooter of the third round, tucked a backhander through Ryan Miller's pads to send the Devils back to Newark with a sweep of their two-game road trip.
Martin Brodeur (24-13-2) made 21 saves and went 2-for-2 in the shootout by stoning Ales Kotalik and Thomas Vanek to post his 19th win in his last 23 starts.
New Jersey increased its lead for first place in the Atlantic Division to two points over Pittsburgh, which lost in Atlanta. Carolina, which fell at home to Colorado, now trails the Devils by seven points for second place in the Eastern Conference.
After the first 20 minutes, it seemed as though the Sabres were primed to snap their eight-game losing streak.
Daniel Paille gave the home team a 1-0 lead just 58 seconds into the contest, redirecting a Brian Campbell feed for his seventh of the season.
Paille struck again nine minutes and 40 seconds later, notching his eighth of the year and second of the game with sharp-angle shot that squeaked, short-side, through Brodeur's pads.
But down by two, New Jersey chipped away at Buffao's lead with a goal in the second and a goal in the third, beginning with Paul Martin's third of the season.
Martin one-timed a Johnny Oduya pass to beat Miller from the right point. The Buffalo goaltender got a piece of Martin's blast, which carried off his catching glove and into the net at 13:47 of the second period.
The fourth-year blueliner has turned up his offense, with two goals and two assists in his last five games and a two-game point streak (1g-1a).
The Devils missed an opportunity to tie the game in the third period after Kotalik took a double-minor high-sticking penalty against Jamie Langenbrunner at 4:38.
New Jersey failed to score, setting up Clarkson's tying tally in the final frame. Just as they had in their first meeting with the Sabres on Dec. 28, the Devils drew even on a late goal.
Down 2-1, Brodeur passed into the neutral zone to create a Langenbrunner rush that put the puck deep in Buffalo territory.
The Devils maintained pressure, and Andy Greene crept down from the left point to fire a centering pass toward the Sabres' net.
Clarkson controlled to Miller's right, and wrapped a shot from the goal line that appeared to deflect off Miller's pads and into the goal at 18:53.
The Devils put two shots on Miller in the overtime session, while Brodeur made a stop on Henrik Tallinder with 35 seconds left to preserve the tie.
Zach Parise took the first attempt of the shootout, deking a forehand around Miller's outstretched right pad.
Brodeur then delivered a pad stop against Kotalik on Buffalo's first try, before Miller responded with a poke check against Brian Gionta to open the second round.
Brodeur denied Vanek with his catching glove, and Elias wrapped it up in the third.
Elias also had the deciding goal in Tuesday's 2-1 shootout win over the Sabres at Prudential Center.
Besides his recent shootout heroics, the three-time 30-goal scorer has been red-hot in regulation with two goals and and three assists in his last five games.
New Jersey won its fifth game this season when trailing after two periods (5-13-1) and improved to 3-0 against Buffalo.
The teams meet for the fourth and final time of the season on Feb. 6 at Buffalo, and the Devils will be looking for their first sweep of the season series since 1997-98.
NJD NOTES John Madden appeared in his 600th career game... The Devils collected 2-1 shootout wins over the Sabres on Dec. 28 and Jan. 8... Sheldon Brookbank was scratched for a sixth straight game... Cam Janssen (shoulder), Jay Pandolfo (groin) and Karel Rachunek (ankle) remained sidelined.
1 - 0 BUF
2 - 0 BUF
2 - 1 BUF
2 - 2 Tie
Holding the stick
Hi stick - double minor