New Jersey Devils (11-15-5 27pts) @
Buffalo Sabres (10-16-5 25pts)
Tonight features a matchup of eerily similar records as the New Jersey Devils head to upstate New York to take on the Buffalo Sabres. This is the first game in a week for both teams due to the National Hockey League briefly pausing the season due to upticks in COVID-19 cases. After a week away, let’s get back to the action. New Jersey played a very solid and well played first period. The Devils opened up the scoring as Dougie Hamilton scored on the power play at the 4:43 mark assisted by Jack Hughes & Nico Hischier. Hamilton fired the puck from the point and beat Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen for his seventh goal of the season. Moments later, Jesper Bratt scored his ninth goal of the season as he picked up a loose puck off of a PK Subban shot and put it into the back of the net to expand the Devils lead to 2-0. That would be the score as both teams would get ready for the next period.
Unfortunately for the Devils, the second period didn’t start out as great as the end of the first as Buffalo quickly tied the game up early on into the second frame. Tage Thompson scored twice within the first three minutes. The first goal by Thompson would get tipped in and the second goal would come on a breakaway set up by Rasmus Dahlin. Those would be the only goals of the period and it would be tied 2-2 heading into the third and final frame.
The first seven minutes of period three were very kind to the Devils as they struck twice within that time span. Jack Hughes scored his sixth goal of the season as he put in a rebound the went right to him for the goal at the 4:28 mark. A little over two minutes later, Yegor Sharngovich tipped in a Ty Smith wrist shot from the point to give New Jersey a 4-2 lead. However, the Sabres wouldn’t go away quietly as Ethan Prow would score his first goal in the National Hockey League at the 14:38 mark to get his team within one goal. However, their comeback effort came up short as the New Jersey Devils held on to win by a final score of 4-3. Next time we see the Devils back on the ice is for a New Years Eve matinee against the Edmonton Oilers.
New Jersey Devils
Next Up: New Jersey Devils vs Edmonton Oilers, Friday 12/31/21 @ 1:00pm EST