Sabres blow out the Devils, 7-1

Buffalo scores five first period goals on Founders' Night at KeyBank Center

Derek Kramer
December 02, 2019 - 8:16 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports


The last time these two teams met, the Buffalo Sabres blew the doors off of the New Jersey Devils with a 7-2 win at the home opener on Oct. 5.

Monday night was more of the same as the Sabres put another beat down on the Devils at KeyBank Center with an impressive 7-1 win.

Sabres captain Jack Eichel extended his point streak to 10 games on Monday with a goal and two assists, while forward Johan Larsson also had a three-point night with three assists in the opening period. In addition, center Rasmus Asplund scored his first career NHL goal during a five-goal blitz in the first period.

Eichel got it all started just 2:46 into the opening period after being left alone near the net as a power play came to an end. Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen pinched along the boards to keep the play alive in the offensive zone, and then fired a blind pass to Eichel, who just got his shot to squeak through goalie Louie Domingue for his 17th goal of the season.

Jeff Skinner doubled up the lead a little over two minutes later after Larsson forced a turnover just outside the New Jersey blue line. Skinner gathered the loose puck, streaked in on Domingue and fired a wrist shot past the glove side.

Buffalo quickly upped its lead to 3-0 when Conor Sheary converted on a Skinner rebound chance as he was being shoved to the ice. Nearly two minutes after Skinner scored his 11th of the season, he streaked into the Devils' zone again and got a backhander on goal. Sheary came in and fired home the rebound to notch his fourth goal of the season, and his first goal in 20 games.

The Devils called their time out in an attempt to regroup, but Sheary scored again to make it 4-0 nearly 10 minutes later. This time, Sheary got a nice bounce after his shot went high up into the air off the blocker of Domingue and came down in the back of the net.

Just before the end of the period, Sabres forward Casey Mittelstadt collected a turnover in the New Jersey end and found Asplund just inside the left faceoff circle. The rookie quickly got off a one-time snap shot that found its way to the top-right corner of the net for his first career NHL goal.

The Sabres dominated the Devils in every way possible in the first period, and ended up outshooting the Devils 15-6 en route to a 5-0 lead.

New Jersey started the second period with Domingue on the bench, as he was replaced by the regular starter, Mackenzie Blackwood.

Buffalo got the next one to make it 6-0 in the second period when a give-and-go between Victor Olofsson and Brandon Montour ended with a one-time shot from Olofsson finding the back of the net. Olofsson's shot was so fast that many people did not realize that the puck was in the net, and the goal horn didn't sound for several seconds after the goal.

The Devils ended any chance of a shutout for Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark when forward Nico Hischier scored a power play goal at the 8:10 mark of the period to make it 6-1.

However, Buffalo responded nearly four minutes later with a power play goal of their own. Sabres defenseman Henri Jokiharju was in the right spot for a one-time slap shot from the point that ended up beating Blackwood clean for his third goal of the season.

The Devils came out shooting in the second period, outshooting the Sabres 21-8 in the second period, but Ullmark stood tall for Buffalo with 26 saves through 40 minutes of action.

New Jersey put up another strong shot output in the third period, trying to get some sort of offense going, but the Sabres turned aside any scoring chance faced en route to the 7-1 win.

Ullmark finished the evening making 44 saves on 45 shots faced to earn his seventh win of the season.




Goal Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 2:46 - Jack Eichel (17) (Rasmus Ristolainen); 4:59 - Jeff Skinner (11) (Johan Larsson); 6:57 - Conor Sheary (4) (Jeff Skinner, Johan Larsson); 16:41 - Conor Sheary (5) (Johan Larsson, Jake McCabe); 19:02 - Rasmus Asplund (1) (Casey Mittelstadt)

Second Period:

BUF: 4:40 - Victor Olofsson (11) (Brandon Montour, Jack Eichel); 12:08 - Henri Jokiharju (3) PP (Victor Olofsson, Jack Eichel) 
NJD: 8:10 -  Nico Hischier (4) PP (Sami Vatanen, Nikita Gusev)

Third Period:



Penalty Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 12:02 - Zemgus Girgensons (Slashing - 2 min.)
NJD: 0:44 - Blake Coleman (Tripping - 2 min.)

Second Period:

BUF: 3:22 - Colin Miller (Roughing - 2 min.); 6:31 - Zemgus Girgensons (Tripping - 2 min.)
NJD: 3:22 - P.K. Subban (Roughing - 2 min.); 11:06 - Kyle Palmieri (Tripping - 2 min.)

Third Period:

BUF: 6:14 - Brandon Montour (Tripping - 2 min.); 17:01 - Henri Jokiharju (Hooking - 2 min.)

Shots on Goal:

BUF: 32 (15, 8, 9)
NJD: 45 (6, 21, 18)

Power Plays:

BUF: 1 for 2 (50%)
NJD: 1 for 4 (25%)


BUF: Linus Ullmark - 44 saves
NJD: Louis Domingue - 10 saves; Mackenzie Blackwood - 15 saves

Three Stars:

  1. Johan Larsson (BUF)
  2. Jack Eichel (BUF)
  3. Conor Sheary (BUF)

What's Next:

The Sabres head out to Western Canada for the first of a three-game road trip on Thursday night against the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Puck drop is set for 9 p.m. on WGR with the Paul William Beltz Pregame Show starting at 8 p.m. with Brian Koziol.

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