Sykora Leads Devils In Win Over Sabres


After suffering a disappointing loss at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes the New Jersey Devils took their home ice looking to bounce back.  Petr Sykora would play a huge role in the Devils victory, netting two goals that gave the Devils a 2-0 lead early in the second period.

Sykora , 35, was invited to training camp on a try out basis.  After earning his place on the Devils’ roster Sykora has become a stand out player for the Devils so far this season.  Scoring his 9th and 10th goals in the game he now stands at 21 points in 36 games. Not bad for a player signed on a tryout basis just a few months ago.

Lets face it, while Petr Sykora’s best days are most certainly behind him he is still a very effective player who can adapt into almost any role.  The role he currently holds in the Devils line up seems to be most favorable to him.  He is consistently putting up points, as well as providing two way support at both ends of the ice.

Of course being paired with Patrik Elias only helps Sykora’s game, as many can vividly recall the days of “The A Line”.  Elias who assisted on both Sykora goals in last nights contest seems to be playing some of his best hockey as well.  Currently leading his team in goals, assists, and total points, Elias has been an offensive force that has carried the Devils while other offensive players have been sidelined due to injuries or lacked production due to slumps.

There is something special when these two take the ice together it seems like they have that one extra step, that extra move, that kinetic bond that allows them to be one step ahead.  Although both players may not have many years left in their careers, they seem to bring out the youth in one another and their productivity certainly reflects it.

After Sykora’s pair of goals, it was Zach Parise who lit the lamp with a deflection off a Mark Fayne blast from the left point.  Tipping the shot past Ryan Miller increased the Devils lead to 3-0.

Shortly after the Devils pulled to a 3 goal lead there was a boarding incident with Eric Boulton, upon boarding the Sabres player a scrum errupted on the ice involving many players of both teams.

Here is the list of penlties assessed after the altercation provided by

07:12NJDEric Boulton served by Tim Sestito : Boarding  – 2 min
07:12BUFCody McCormick : Roughing  – 2 min
07:12BUFPaul Gaustad : Misconduct (10 min)  – 0 min
07:12BUFPatrick Kaleta : Misconduct (10 min)  – 0 min
07:12NJDCam Janssen : Misconduct (10 min)  – 0 min
07:12NJDBryce Salvador : Misconduct (10 min)  – 0 min
07:12NJDEric Boulton : Roughing  – 2 min

With the Sabres on the Power Play the Devils 3 goal advantage would be short lived as Thomas Vanek would score a power play goal less than one minute later to put the Sabres on the board.

The teams would enter the 3rd period with the Devils leading 3-1.  The scoreless third presented many scoring chances for Buffalo, but the Sabres’ players were unable to capitalize on them.

With Miller at the bench, Martin Brodeur made the closing minute interesting, making repeated attempts to score on the empty net.  Perhaps trying to send a message to Cam Ward, who was credited with a goal against the Devils after Ilya Kovalchuk’s own goal last game.

Game Breakdown:


  • Devils get off to quick start at home, scoring first maintaining the home ice advantage.
  • Solid defensive play. Adam Larsson played a solid positional game, he was not caught up ice, avoided scrambling for position.  Other defensemen played a tough physical game and created a physical presence on the ice.
  • Responded to a momentum killing loss in Carolina, came into game focused and prepared to win


  • Unable to Score in third period.  A goal at any point in the third period would have put the game out of reach for the Sabres.
  • Allowed too many scoring opportunities in the third period.  A couple close calls that could have gone either way.
  • Back to Back game misconduct penalties could get the league’s eyes on the Devils.  The team may not be given a break next time there is a questionable call that may involve further discipline or a suspension.


The Devils focused on the game at hand and responded with a well rounded win at home.  As they were able to build a 3 goal lead that was cut to 2, they were able to hold the Sabres scoreless in the third to secure the win.  It is apparent that the Devils have the skill and ability to play dominant games and come away with big wins over good teams.  The issue is the consistency in doing so.  The devils need to start producing win streaks that will allow them to climb the standings.  The ability to link wins in the NHL is one of the biggest advantages any team can have.  Until the Devils can start producing winning streaks they will tread water in the middle of the standings, the issue with this is a losing streak can certainly remove them from being a competitive team in the race for a spot in the post season.