Sabres score late, New Jersey holds on for 3-1 win

Jake McCabe scores Buffalo's lone goal in the loss

Pat Malacaro
January 30, 2018 - 7:08 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports


Jake McCabe scored on the power play for the Buffalo Sabres late in the third period, but it was not enough to extend their three-game winning streak. The New Jersey Devils beat Buffalo 3-1 on Tuesday night at KeyBank Center.

Here's how the game broke down:

First Period:

20:00 - It has felt like forever since we were last here at KeyBank Center. Buffalo went nearly three weeks with just two home games, but now begins a stretch where the team is home a majority of the time the rest of the regular season.

15:41 - Buffalo gets the game's first power play of the night, with Pavel Zacha headed off for the next two minutes or less. We will see if the home team knocks off the rust with Zacha in the box for hooking.

13:13 - The Sabres recorded two shots on goal on the man advantage, but failed to really establish any zone time possession. Shots on goal are 4-2 in favor of Buffalo. 

7:43 - Buffalo has started to establish more possession, but failed to do anything with it so far. The last several minutes have been good, thanks in part to a Taylor Hall boarding penalty. But then again, Hall nearly opened the scoring on a nifty pass by Nico Hischier to the front of the net.

2:52 - This has been as non-descript of a period as you could have here tonight. Outside of the shots on the power play, Buffalo has not done much with their possessions in the offensive zone. Neither have the Devils. The puck keeps going back and forth but there has not been any real action in either zone.

End of Period

Goal Summary:


Penalty Summary:

NJD: 4:19 - Pavel Zacha (2 min., hooking). 7:42 - Taylor Hall (2 min., boarding)

Shots on Goal:

BUF - 11, NJD - 8


Second Period:

14:11 - DEVILS GOAL. Robin Lehner's shutout streak is over at after seven plus periods thanks to Miles Wood. You just got the feeling that the goal was coming as New Jersey moved the puck in the offensive zone.1-0 NJD.

11:59 - The Devils have had the better of the play, and they are being rewarded for it. Here is a little more on Lehner's shutout streak from the team: 

8:37 - Shots this period are 6-3 in favor of New Jersey. This period is following in the mold of the opening period. There have been spurts where the two teams have had sustained zone time and pressure, but there has been a whole lot of nothing in the middle. I would say the first period was better for Buffalo, and this one has leaned toward the Devils.

3:19 - Buffalo is not putting up much of a fight. Give the Devils credit, they are disrupting the blue and gold in the neutral zone and keeping anything in the defensive zone to the outside. Keith Kinkaid is also able to see every shot on goal clearly and without any traffic in front. It is good team defense for the visitors so far.

End of Period

Goal Summary:

NJD: 5:49 - Miles Wood (14) (Will Butcher, Kyle Palmeri)

Penalty Summary:


Shots on Goal:

BUF - 7 (18), NJD - 10 (19)


Third Period:

14:29 - DEVILS GOAL. Buffalo has looked better and this period, but the second they let up just a little bit and Taylor Hall uses a quick shot that goes off of Robin Lehner's glove and the goal post before doubling the Devils lead. 2-0 NJD.

9:44 - New Jersey has dominated play and controlled puck possession since Hall's goal nearly five minutes ago. It looks like Buffalo has run out of gas, and the Devils are fresher. They are cycling the puck and nearly added to the lead with a tip drill in front of Lehner's crease. Hischier narrowly missed his second goal of the night on the play.

6:58 - Just the third penalty of the night has been called, and it is the third to New Jersey. Andy Greene impeded Evan Rodrigues' progress to the offensive zone and will now sit for the next two minutes or less. If the Sabres have any chance of getting this game to overtime, it has to start now.

5:02 - SABRES GOAL. There were just a handful of seconds left on the power play, but Buffalo got the job done to halve the deficit late in regulation. It started with a Ryan O'Reilly face-off win the offensive zone, and Jake McCabe kept his shot low as it snuck through traffic to find the back of the net. What a nice play by the blue and gold. 2-1 NJD

2:45 - Hischier heads to the penalty box for cross checking, the retaliation penalty on McCabe could result in the game-tying goal. We shall see over the next two minutes. 

:5.9 - DEVILS GOAL. Despite the team's best effort with Lehner pulled, Kyle Palmeri is able to score to salt the game away on the empty net. 3-1 NJD.

End of Game
Devils - 3; Sabres - 1

Goal Summary:

BUF: 14:58 - Jake McCabe (3) PPG (Ryan O'Reilly)
NJD: 5:31 - Taylor Hall (18) (Jesper Bratt, Nico Hischier). 19:54 - Kyle Palmeri (9) ENG (unassisted)

Penalty Summary:

NJD: 13:02 - Andy Greene (2 min., interference). 17:15 - Nico Hischier (2 min., cross checking)

Shots on Goal:

BUF - 10 (28), NJD - 9 (28)


BUF: Robin Lehner - 25 saves
NJD: Keith Kinkaid - 27 saves

Power Plays:

BUF: 0 for 4 (0%)
NJD: 0 for 0 (0%)

Three Stars:

  1. Miles Wood - NJD
  2. Taylor Hall - NJD
  3. Will Butcher - NJD

What's Next:

Buffalo is right back at it on Thursday night, welcoming the Florida Panthers to KeyBank Center. It is a five-game homestand overall for the blue and gold, with game two of the set in two days. The puck drops at 7 p.m. on the flagship home of the Sabres Radio Network - WGR Sports Radio. Pre-game with Mike Schopp and the Bulldog begins our coverage at 6 p.m. from (716) Food and Sport.

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