Sabres score five goals in first period, defeat Devils

Ruben Hill
December 3, 2019

Speaking of ice cold, the Devils were downright glacial in the first period of this game and before the mercury dropped below freezing, the Sabres jumped all over Devils startung tendy Louie Domingue. In my opinion, the Devils have too many talented, character players on their roster to play this poorly on a consistent basis.

However, the Sabres take, on average, fewer penalty minutes per game than the Devils and they allow fewer shots per game, ranking 16th in the league compared to New Jersey's rank of 29th in the league when it comes to goals allowed.

Sheary ended a 19-game goal drought on a one-timer 6:57 into the first, then added his fifth of the season with 3:19 remaining in the period on a poor effort from Devils goalie Louis Domingue. Buffalo has converted on 17.9% of power-play opportunities, scoring 15 power-play goals. "But I think what we really did good was when we scored a couple goals there, we just stayed with the game plan and kept going".

The Devils are now 9-13-4, with a losing streak at two games, but Thursday's 6-4 road win over the Montreal Canadiens seems like a distant memory. "We have to figure out particularly, like tonight, what went on in the first period and why we came out like that". After Jack Eichel scored the opening goal, Jeff Skinner walked easily into the Devils' offensive zone and scored the second.

His parents, who recently flew over from Sweden, witnessed the milestone just one night before their flight back home.

"It's a relief, of course", he said of scoring in his 10th game. Mackenzie Blackwood made 15 saves the rest of the way. Not that it mattered much.

For the first time since they played the Boston Bruins on November 21st, the Buffalo Sabres scored on the power play. Hischier got the Devils on the board with a power-play goal at the 8:10 mark before Jokiharju scored on the power play less than four minutes later.

What has changed for the Sabres, who had been in freefall, over the last six games? "Now it looks like habits are starting to show up versus always having to process every single step during a game".

Sheary had been creating some offense beside Skinner and center Johan Larsson, his new linemates.

"It was good to get it out of the way early tonight", Sheary said. "Although I've been struggling to score, I think I've been doing a lot of good things and our line's had some chemistry so it was only a matter of time, and I got some puck luck tonight".

Asplund completed Buffalo's first-period flurry to make it 5-0 with 58 seconds left on his first National Hockey League goal.

Ullmark made 18 saves in the third.

"He played really well", Olofsson said.

Clearly, the Buffalo Sabres have a lot of issues they need to address right now if this team wants to sneak into the playoffs. Olofsson has totaled 8 points over the last 10 games for Buffalo. Larsson, meanwhile, had three first-period assists.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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