Devils tie game late, beat Sabres in overtime

Buffalo gave up the lead with 3:21 left to play and drop first game of the Prospects Challenge

Brayton Wilson
September 08, 2017 - 6:51 pm

The Buffalo Sabres kicked off the third annual Prospects Challenge with a 4-3 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils at HarborCenter.

The Sabres held a one-goal lead with less than four minutes to play in the third period, but the Devils managed to tie the game and force overtime. Just 50-seconds into overtime, Devils defenseman Michael Kapla was the hero as he beat Sabres goalie Jonas Johansson to give New Jersey the win. 

Buffalo came into Friday's game looking to win its second Prospects Challenge after winning the first tournament in 2015. The Boston Bruins took home the tournament title last year, so the Devils were looking to win their first Prospects Challenge.

The Devils came out flying in the first period with a few good chances early on Johansson. The Sabres struggled early on trying to move the puck, and got beat on many physical battles for the puck.

It was New Jersey who found the back of the net first at the 7:19 mark of the first period. After a turnover in the Sabres' zone, the Devils had a three-on-one chance in front of Johansson. Free agent acquisition Austin Cangelosi waited for 2013 third round pick Ryan Kujawinski to come in to the right of Johansson and fed him a perfect pass for the easy goal. It was Kujawinski's first goal of the tournament.

The Sabres got their first quality chance of the night as Devils forward Brandon Gignac went to the box for holding defenseman, Vojtech Budik. The Devils successfully killed off the penalty, but seven seconds later the Sabres tied the game with a goal from 2016 third round pick, Cliff Pu. After a scramble for a loose puck in front of the net, the Devils failed to clear the puck and it ended up on the stick of Vasily Glotov. Glotov found Pu open in the slot, and Pu fired a quick wrist shot past Devils goalie Evan Cormier.

The period ended with the game tied 1-1, but the Devils controlled the pace of play for a majority of the period and out-shot the Sabres, 12-5.

Buffalo responded in the second period coming out skating on all cylinders. Glotov was all over the ice once again as he drew a penalty just 38-seconds in to give the Sabres a powerplay chance. On that chance, C.J. Smith is able to dangle his way on goal for a scoring chance, but is stopped by Cormier. 

After the Sabres generate some more pressure to draw closer in shots on goal, the Devils go back up by a goal as Kujawinski scores his second of the night. The puck came free in the slot and was sitting there for Kujawinski, who burried the puck above Johansson's shoulder.

Seven and a half minutes later, the Sabres tie the game once more with a goal from invitee, Colin Blackwell. The play started when Smith attempted a pass to Hudson Fasching that got tied up in his feet as he headed to the net. Fasching was able to kick the puck to an incoming Blackwell and he scores an easy goal.

Both teams headed into the locker room tied 2-2, with the Sabres out-shooting the Devils in the period, 14-7. 

The Sabres grabbed their first and only lead of the night at the 6:48 mark of the third period as Blackwell scores his second goal of the game. The Sabres started a rush down the ice led by forward Daniel Muzito-Bagenda. He then handed off the puck to Blackwell, who beat Cormier on the far-side, glove hand to put Buffalo ahead.

Johansson played well in net throughout the night, and had helped the Sabres stay on top heading into the dying minutes of the third.

However, with 3:21 to play, Kujawinski completed the hat-trick after defenseman Will Butcher made a nice play to draw a screen in front of Johansson. Johansson never picked up the pass by Butcher to a wide open Kujawinski, and Kujawinski made no mistake.

The Devils controlled a majority of the play in the period, especially in the final minutes of play. However, 60 minutes of hockey was not enough for both teams as they headed to sudden-death overtime.

After the Sabres created one chance down the ice early in overtime, the Devils storm right back in the other direction. It was Jesper Bratt who found Kapla for the game-winner just 50-seconds into the extra five minutes, and New Jersey takes Game 1 of the Prospects Challenge.

Check out the recap of the night's action below:




  • 1-0 New Jersey - Devils goal (7:19)

After a defensive mistake in the Sabres zone to give a three-on-one chance to the Devils, forward Ryan Kujawinski buries a pass from Austin Cangelosi for his first goal of the tournament. Defenseman Colton White was credited with the secondary assist.

  • 1-1 TIE - Sabres goal (16:11)

Shortly after the Devils kill off the penalty to Gignac, 2016 seventh round pick Vasily Glotov finds 2016 third round pick Cliff Pu in the slot. Pu lets go of a shot that beats goalie Evan Cormier through the blocker. Glotov was credited with the only assist on the goal.



  • 0-0 TIE - Buffalo penalty (4:23)

Sabres forward Brandon Hagel is guilty of tripping Devils defenseman Steve Santini behind the New Jersey net. Buffalo was able to kill off the two-minute penalty.

  • 1-0 New Jersey - Devils penalty (14:04)

Devils forward Brandon Gignac goes off for two-minutes for holding Sabres defenseman Vojtech Budik. New Jersey successfully killed off the penalty.


End of Period

Goal Summary:
 Pu (1)
NJD: Kujawinski (1)

Penalty Summary:
BUF: Hagel - Tripping (2-min.)
NJD: Gignac - Holding (2-min.)

Shots on Goal:
 5; NJD - 14



  • 2-1 New Jersey - Devils goal (6:40)

Ryan Kujawinski scores his second goal of the game as he cleans up a loose puck in the slot and beats Johansson over the shoulder. Forward Marian Studenic and defenseman Joshua Jacobs were credited with the assists.

  • 2-2 TIE - Sabres goal (14:15)

C.J. Smith attempts a pass that gets tied up in the feet of Hudson Fasching in front of the net. The puck then bounces to a streaking Colin Blackwell who puts it past Evan Cormier for his first goal of the tournament. Fasching and Smith are credited with the assists.


  • 1-1 TIE - Devils penalty (0:38)

Sabres forward Vasily Glotov forces Devils forward John Quenneville into a tripping penalty early in the second period. New Jersey is able to kill off the penalty.

  • 2-1 New Jersey - Sabres penalty (10:03)

Sabres defenseman Austin Osmanski take a two-minute interference penalty halfway through the second period. Buffalo successfully kills off the penalty.

  • 2-2 TIE - Devils penalty (16:04)

Ryan Kujawinski is called for holding Alex Nylander as he made his way through the neutral zone with the puck. The Devils kill off the penalty.

  • 2-2 TIE - Devils penalty (18:38)

Devils defenseman Joshua Jacobs is caught for tripping late in the second period.


End of Period

Goal Summary:
 Blackwell (1)
NJD: Kujawinski (2)

Penalty Summary:
 Osmanski - Interference (2-min.)
NJD: Quenneville - Tripping (2-min.); Kujawinski - Holding (2-min.); Jacobs - Tripping (2-min.)

Shots on Goal:
 18 (23); NJD - 9 (23)



  • 3-2 Buffalo - Sabres goal (6:48)

Colin Blackwell scores his second goal of the night with a wrist shot that beats Evan Cormier on the far-side, glove hand to give the Sabres their first lead of the night. Daniel Muzito-Bagenda and Vaclav Karabacek were credited with the assists on the goal.

  • 3-3 TIE - Devils goal (16:39)

Ryan Kujawinski completes the hat-trick as defenseman Will Butcher holds on to the puck and draws a screen of Johansson. Johansson never catches the Butcher pass and Kujawinski scores into a wide-open net. Austin Cangelosi was credited with the secondary assist on the goal.


  • 2-2 TIE - Sabres penalty (1:27)

Sabres forward Vaclav Karabacek is guilty of tripping and goes off to the penalty box for two minutes. The Sabres are successful in killing off Karabacek's penalty.

  • 2-2 TIE - Devils penalty (3:37)

Shortly after the Sabres kill off the penalty on Karabacek, the Devils are assessed a bench minor for too many men on the ice. New Jersey is able to kill off the penalty.

  • 3-2 Buffalo - Devils penalty (7:31)

Devils forward Nathan Bastian goes off for two-minutes for tripping. New Jersey kills off the penalty.


End of Regulation

Goal Summary:
 Blackwell (2)
NJD: Kujawinski (3)

Penalty Summary:
 Karabacek - Holding (2-min.)
NJD: Bench - Too Many Men (2-min.); Bastian - Tripping (2-min.)

Shots on Goal:
 8 (31); NJD - 14 (37)




  • 4-3 New Jersey - Devils goal (0:50)

After Jesper Bratt holds up with the puck, he finds defenseman Michael Kapla coming in from the blue line. Kapla beats Johansson on the backhand just 50-seconds into overtime to give the Devils the win.

End of Overtime

Goal Summary:
NJD: Kapla (1)

Penalty Summary:

Shots on Goal:
 0 (31); NJD - 1 (38)


Devils - 4; Sabres - 3 (OT)


Game Notes:

  • NONE

BUF - Johansson - 34 saves
NJD - Cormier - 28 saves

Power Plays:
BUF - 0 for 6
NJD - 0 for 3

Three Stars:
1.) Ryan Kujawinski - NJD
2.) Colin Blackwell - BUF
3.) Michael Kapla - NJD

What's Next:

The Sabres prospects will take on the Boston Bruins prospects at 7 p.m. on Saturday night at HarborCenter. The Bruins prospects beat the Pittsburgh Penguins prospects Friday afternoon 3-2 in overtime. Hear the game on WGR Sports Radio 550 with Paul Hamilton, Brian Duff and Pat Malacaro on the call.

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