Devils rout the Sabres 6-2

Evander Kane scores twice for the Sabres, but the powerplay gives up another shorthanded goal in the loss

Pat Malacaro
October 09, 2017 - 3:08 pm

The Buffalo Sabres continue to search for their first win of the Phil Housley era after getting smoked by the New Jersey Devils on Monday, 6-2 at KeyBank Center.

The Sabres' powerplay woes continue as they give up another shorthanded goal, and now have allowed four shorthanded goals in the past three games. Buffalo's powerplay gave up only four shorthanded goals in all 82 games last season.

Evander Kane continues to play with the hot hand, scoring two more goals to up his season total to four through the first three games. Jack Eichel played nearly 20 minutes of ice time, but was a minus-2 and did not register a shot.

Where the Sabres really struggled on Monday was on defense, accounting for seven turnovers and playing carelessly with the puck in front of goalie Chad Johnson.

Check out the night's events below:


First Period

16:54 - Today's game has a good pace to it early on with both teams looking to move the puck quickly and transition to the offensive zone. I know what New Jersey was for about a twenty year stretch, but they are no longer the slow, boring wasteland in NJ. With Taylor Hall, and top overall pick Nico Hischier the Devils have speed and offense slowly working back into their game.

13:32 - DEVILS GOAL. A fluky bounce created by a good offensive possession results in the first goal of the game for the visitors. Stefan Noeson is credited with the game's first goal after the puck hit him as he was crashing the front of the net. It counts regardless. 1-0 NJD.

10:34 - There are already eight shots on goal this period, with NJ holding a 5-3 advantage. We heard from Phil Housley talk about quality over quantity on Thursday, and that is what we saw on Saturday. I bet the bench boss would like to see a happy medium. He will have to wait at least two minutes with Kyle Okposo being called for tripping. It looked like a weak call, but he will sit none the less.

8:21 - Nice penalty kill but Buffalo. Save one early chance that rang off of the goal post, they did not let up anything in front of Chad Johnson. We talked about the goaltender on pregame and how he did not come to Buffalo with the given that he was going to be a backup. It will be interesting to see if Robin Lehner struggles, if Johnson is able to take over.

4:42 - Buffalo has had the better of the possession lately, but really they needed to tie the score while they had the opportunity. It seems like they are taking with Housley said to heart and looking for the perfect play early on. This would be a good time for Evander Kane to just get inside the offensive zone and see if he can create something with a shot from the outside. 

1:04 - DEVILS GOAL. Brian Gibbons is able to stand at the front of the net by himself, and Nico Hischier puts the puck right on his stick for the game's second goal. Solid play by the rookie to protect the puck, and a tough play for Matt Tennyson. 2-0 NJD.

End of Period

Goal Summary:

NJD: 6:28 - Stefan Noeson (1) (Brian Gibbons). 18: 56 - Brian Gibbons (1) (Nico Hischier, Marcus Johansson)

Penalty Summary:

BUF: 9:26 - Kyle Okposo (2 min., tripping)

Shots on Goal:

BUF: 6, NJD: 8


Second period:

18:27 - Zemgus Girgensons heads to the penalty box for slashing. That is not the way the blue and gold wanted to start the period. 

16:25 - Buffalo's first power play comes as New Jersey is called for a face-off violation. If the Sabres needed a spark, this would be the time. They were able to almost effortlessly kill off the minor of their own, and now get the chance to halve the deficit.

14:58 - SABRES GOAL. What speed by Evander Kane to not only bring Buffalo within a goal, but his strength to shield the puck also results in another power play for the team. It is Kane's third goal of the season and comes at the perfect time for the blue and gold. 2-1 NJD.

14:37 - DEVILS GOAL. Well, there goes that...Nathan Beaulieu turns the puck over quickly on the second power play, and Chad Johnson had no chance with an odd-man chance in front of him. Jesper Bratt gets the goal, and the margin is once again two goals in favor of New Jersey. Just when you thought the special teams were on track, it quickly goes the other way. 3-1 NJD.

12:11 - DEVILS GOAL. Nathan Beaulieu continues to struggle, and once again it results in the visitors getting a layup goal right at the top of the crease. The second periods for the Sabres each of the last two games have been downright dreadful. It continues today as Marcus Johansson is credited with the goal, with Taylor Hall netting the lone assist. 4-1 NJD.

7:53 - Beaulieu does his best to get the team going after delivering a big hit on Miles Wood, and then the two drop the gloves. Wood ate several punches and was dropped to the ice. We'll see if it results in a spark for Buffalo.

7:41 - DEVILS GOAL. To say this game has gotten away from Buffalo is an understatement. Folks are restless here, and are voicing their displeasure. KeyBank Center for the moment of quiet after Jesper Bratt increases the visitor's lead to four goals. 5-1 NJD

1:04 - DEVILS GOAL. Oh baby, somebody stop the fight. Marcus Johansson gets his second goal of the period on a 2-on-1 attempt. Not much left to say right now. 6-1 NJD. 

End of Period

Goal Summary:

BUF: 5:02 -  Evander Kane (3) PPG (Rasmus Ristolainen)
NJD: 5:23 - Jesper Bratt (2) SHG (Adam Henrique, Mirco Mueller). 7:49 - Marcus Johansson (1) (Taylor Hall). 12:19 - Jesper Bratt (3) (Taylor Hall, Andy Greene). 18:56 - Marcus Johansson (2) (Jesper Bratt)

Penalty Summary:

BUF: 1:33 - Zemgus Girgensons (2 min., slashing). 12:07 - Nathan Beaulieu (5 min., fighting). 14:52 - Jason Pominville (2 min., holding)
NJD: 3:33 - Team (2 min., face-off violation). 5:02 - Steven Santini (2 min., slashing). 12:07 - Miles Wood (5 min., fighting)

Shots on Goal:

BUF: 11 (17), NJD: 13 (21)


Third Period:

19:28 - Lehner has taken over in goal for Buffalo to start the third period.

17:55 - Housley has made some line changes for the final frame here today: 

15:00 - Buffalo heads to the man advantage thanks to a Ben Lovejoy hooking minor. That was a result of Girgensons going hard to the net and nearly having a chance tight to the net by himself.

7:41 - Even though it was a three o'clock start, I think many kids have reached their "curfew." Or at least are no longer interested as this final has not been in doubt for some time. The seating bowl has been emptying, and my twitter mentions are a sight to behold as well.

5:12 - One thing that is of a concern to me, albeit not a major one just yet, is the fact that the shot totals for Buffalo have decreased from game to game each of the last two games. The Sabres recorded 45 shots against Montreal, but had 29 on Saturday, and right now have 21 for the game. 

2:57 - SABRES GOAL. There has been very little to cheer about since the first period, but Evander Kane is able to stay with the puck and put it into the top corner of the net to score his second goal of the game. It probably comes a little late, but gives those remaining in the seats something to cheer about. 6-2 NJD.

End of Game
New Jersey 6, Buffalo 2

Goal Summary:

BUF: 17:03 - Evander Kane (4) (Jason Pominville)

Penalty Summary:

BUF: 9:02 - Team (2 min., too many men on the ice)
NJD: 5:00 - Ben Lovejoy (2 min., hooking). 10:39 - Team (2 min., too many men on the ice)

Shots on Goal:

BUF: 8 (25), NJD: 9 (31)

BUF: Johnson - 16 saves; Lehner - 9 saves
NJD: Schneider - 23 saves

Power Plays:
BUF: 1 for 4 (25%)
NJD: 0 for 4 (0%)

Three Stars:
1.) Jesper Bratt - NJD
2.) Marcus Johansson - NJD
3.) Evander Kane - BUF

What's Next:

The Sabres have a mandatory day off from practice on Tuesday, but will return to the ice on Wednesday before traveling to San Jose to start a four-game road trip out west. The Sabres and Sharks will face off on Thursday night at 10:30 p.m. Our coverage on WGR Sports Radio 550 starts at 9:30 p.m. with Brian Koziol and Paul Hamilton.

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