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New Jersey Devils vs. Buffalo Sabres: Game Preview #27

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The Devils face the Buffalo Sabres, currently sitting in last place in the NHL. Can they get their second win in as many nights against the struggling Sabres?

Will Damien Brunner be the next Devil to end his goalless streak?
Will Damien Brunner be the next Devil to end his goalless streak?
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

The Time: 7:00 PM

The Broadcast: TV - MSG; Radio - WCBS 880 AM

The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (10-11-5) vs. the Buffalo Sabres (6-20-1); SBN Blog: Die By The Blade

The Last Devils Game: The Devils took down the Carolina Hurricanes last night 5-2 breaking their three game losing streak. Cory Schneider was in net and stopped 16 of 18 shots while the Devils took 31 shots on Cam Ward. Five different Devils scored the goals. Mark Fayne opened the scoring late in the first period, but the Hurricanes had the 2-1 lead by the end of the second with goals by Jeff Skinner and Jordan Staal. New Jersey took over in the third with goals from Andrei Loktionov, Adam Henrique on the power play, Dainius Zubrus, and Jaromir Jagr. It was an exciting third period after a first and second period of groans and frustration. You can read John's full recap here.

The Last Sabres Game: The Sabres defeated the Maple Leafs last night 3-2 in overtime. Ryan Miller was in net and made 24 of 22 saves while Matt Moulson scored on the powerplay and Luke Adams tied the game up for Buffalo with just over a minute left in the second period. Christian Ehrhoff scored the overtime winner for the Sabres. You can look for that recap over at Die By The Blade.

The Goal: This is always the case with the second half of a back-to-back, but the Devils will need to come out with a lot of energy. The Sabres are coming off of a game last night, as well. Both teams got big wins, so it will be vital to take advantage of a tired team travelling from Toronto after an overtime win.

Let's All Score Goals: Last night saw goals from five different Devils and points from eleven different players. Goalless streaks from Fayne, Henrique, and Loktionov were broken. It was great to see some new players find the back of the net. There are a few other Devils who have goalless streaks to end. It would be great to get Damien Brunner and Michael Ryder going again. Both looked much stronger last night than they have in recent games, so hopefully a breakout is coming.

Power Play: New Jersey had three power plays last night and scored on one of them. The other two were just no good. I don't think much will be fixed over night seeing as not much on the power play has been fixed throughout the first quarter of the season, but the third time with the man advantage was the charm. If they work the power play like they did the third when Henrique scored, they could find success against the 25th ranked penalty kill in Buffalo.

The Lineup: Hopefully the lineup from last night sticks. Damien Brunner should play. Cam Janssen should not play. Anton Volchenkov was solid in his first game back from injury. I don't think any defenseman deserves to be taken out so Peter Harrold can play. John wrote a bit about this in the recap, and I completely agree that this lineup should stay intact against Buffalo. I would be content with either goalie in net, but I would expect to see Brodeur since every other back-to-back this season has been split.

The Sabres: They are the worst team in the NHL (by a five point margin), but they still have scoring threats and a solid goaltender. Cody Hodgson is leading the Sabres with eight goals and seventeen points on the season. Matt Moulson, a familiar face to Devils due to his time with the Islanders, has eleven points in his 14 games with the Sabres. Ryan Miller played last night, so the Devils may see backup Jhonas Enroth who has just one win in eight games played this season, but he does have a .908 save percentage with a 2.88 goals against average. Miller, who has just five wins in twenty starts has a .918 save percentage and a 3.05 goals against average. The Sabres are a struggling team, but the Devils can't sit back and expect to win.

Side Note: If you are going to the game tonight, bring a gently used coat if possible. Everyone who brings two or more coats will receive a voucher for four tickets to a future game. Not only will it help those in need, but you'll get to see the Devils twice for the price of one game with friends!

Your Take: Do you think the Devils can bring it in the second half of the back-to-back and beat the Sabres? What goalies would you like to see on each side of the ice? What will New Jersey need to do to get a win to bring them back to .500? Share your thoughts on the game tonight in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!