The New Jerseys Devils scored early and often as they took advantage of a no-show performance from the Buffalo Sabres tonight at Prudential Center. Tyler Toffoli scored twice and eight Devils had multi-point nights as New Jersey rolled to an easy 7-2 win over the Sabres. It was all Devils all night, as they outshot the Sabres 38-11.
The Sabres got powerplay goals from Jeff Skinner and Kyle Okposo.
- Just an awful performance from the Sabres tonight. The Devils schooled them in pretty much every aspect of the game. Quite often, this game looked like men playing against boys. The Devils looked bigger, stronger, faster, better organized and more interested in playing the game. Just brutal.
- It’s hard to get an impression of Isak Rosen and Jiri Kulich in a game like this. They didn’t look out of place on the ice, but they didn’t stand out either. Then again, none of their teammates stood out either.
- Eric Comrie gave up four goals in the first period, but I can’t blame him for the goals. The defensive coverage was abysmal in front of him. You can’t blame Devon Levi either. He gave up three in two periods of work. Awful performance from the rest of them team in front of them.
- This was a game to forget for Connor Clifton. He was -4 on the night and even kicked one of the goals into his own net.
- Mattias Samuelsson went down with an injury in the first period and did not return. Hopefully he’s not out too long.
- This was the second meeting of the season between the Sabres and Devils. On October 27, the Devils won 5-4.
- With the loss tonight, the Sabres fell to 9-10-2, 6th in their division.
With Zemgus Girgensons on the IR after his injury last night and Jordan Greenway away from the team, the Sabres called up both Isak Rosen and Juri Kulich from Rochester. Both made their NHL debuts. Henri Jokiharju was a healthy scratch on D.
Jeff Skinner– Casey Mittelstadt – Alex Tuch
JJ Peterka – Dylan Cozens – Zach Benson
Jiri Kulich – Peyton Krebs – Kyle Okposo
Isak Rosen – Tyson Jost – Victor Olofsson
Rasmus Dahlin – Mattias Samuelsson
Owen Power – Ryan Johnson
Connor Clifton – Erik Johnson
Poor start for the Sabres as the Devils scored just 1:31 into the game. They lost the faceoff in their own end, couldn’t take control behind the net and before we knew it, Alexander Holtz roofed a centering pass past Eric Comrie.
Tyler Toffoli doubled the lead on a 6-on-5 delayed penalty advantage at 11:08. The Sabres got caught with a VERY young line on the ice, with Jost, Kulich, Rosen, Power and Ryan Johnson. They couldn’t clear the zone – or touch the puck – and while Comrie made the initial save, Toffoli picked up the rebound and put it in the net.
The Devils made it 3-0 at 15:20 when Nico Hischier put the puck in off his leg/skate. Comrie was adamant that he kicked it in, but the refs disagreed, and the goal counted.
Mattias Samuelsson also went to the dressing room after that goal. If you look at the replay, it looks like he may have taken a puck to the face? Hard to tell, but he didn’t return fir the rest of the period.
Ondrej Palat made it 4-0 New Jersey at 18:27. Casey Mittelstadt lost the puck trying to break into the Devils end and New Jersey took off on an odd-man rush. They made it count.
Truly awful period for the Sabres. Shots were 18-3 for New Jersey.
Not much better in the second
Devon Levi replaced Eric Comrie to start the second period.
Jeff Skinner broke the Vanecek shutout on the powerplay at 1:53. Really nice puck movement between Mittelstadt, Tuch and Skinner.
It wasn’t too long before the Devils took back the 4-goal lead on the second of the night from Toffoli at 2:44. Levi partially stopped the initial shot, but the puck squeaked through him. Nobody picked up Toffoli, who shoveled the puck into the net.
Once again, barely any shots for the Sabres in this period. Shots were 9-3 for New Jersey.
More in the third
Another Devils goal to start the third period. On this one, Hamilton’s shot at 0:50 from the blueline deflected first off Dawson Mercer and then off Clifton’s skate.
The Sabres picked up another powerplay goal at x:xx. Owen Power’s wrist shot from the blueline was deflected by Kyle Okposo in front of the net. It was Okposo’s second goal in as many games.
Once again, the Devils answered quickly. Luke Hughes beat Levi with a wrist shot on the powerplay that beat the goalie between the blocker and the body. Levi wanted that one back.
Shots in the third were 10-5 for the Devils and 38-11 for the game.