Newark – N.J. The New Jersey Devils took on the Buffalo Sabres tonight at home in what was their second meeting in less than a week. The Devils lost the last meeting in Buffalo 4-3 in a shootout.
The Devils found themselves down 2-0 due to goals from Thomas Vanek and rookie Brian Flynn late in the third period when Adam Henrique ripped a shot past Buffalo back-up goaltender Jhonas Enroth at 13:30 for a powerplay goal. The Devils were struggling on the powerplay as they were blanked on 18 straight chances opportunities entering tonights game.
Later in the period the Devils pulled Johan Hedberg for an extra attacker. As soon as Hedberg got to the bench, Patrik Elias scored at 18:54 on a rebound from David Clarkson’s shot from the blue line. Enroth appeared to be injured on the play as his right leg twisted awkwardly. Enroth needed help to get off of the ice.
The Devils got lucky in overtime when Sabres captain Jason Pominville barely missed ending the game when his slap shot from the right circle hit the far post. This was the Sabres second time hitting the iron in the game.
Overtime ended and the Devils got their last chance to end the losing streak in the shootout. The Devils were 0-3 in shootout opportunities this year after going 12-4 in shootouts a year ago.
Both the Devils and Sabres first attempts missed, then Clarkson scored the game-winning-goal on a backhand past Ryan Miller. The Sabres missed their next, which happened to be their final attempt. Elias ended the game with ease as he deked out Miller to slide the puck into a vacant net.
The Devils snapped their longest losing streak in 27 years in front of a loud sold out (17,625) Prudential Center.
In other news, Tom Kostopoulos made his Devils debut logging 10:33 time on ice. Kostopoulos, 35, was claimed off waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins Wednesday morning and was in New Jersey shortly after. Kostopoulos played very physical tonight which is a big aspect of the Devils game.
The Devils take the ice again on Saturday night in Carolina. The Devils lost to the Hurricanes in their last meeting 4-2 in Newark.
Hopefully the Devils can maintain their play and mount a winning streak.