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Game Recap

Ristolainen buries OT winner

Recap

Facing off in their second matchup of the year, the Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils squared off at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. with one team looking to get out of a slump and the other searching for their sixth straight victory.

After a difficult 6-2 loss back in October at KeyBank Center, this game did not end with nearly the same result. This time, the Sabres finished the job in OT as Rasmus Ristolainen buried the game-winner. 

“It was nice, I thought it was a nice road win, they were swarming us, we were fighting it out together…it was a great crowd in here today, it was buzzing in here.”- Robin Lehner

One of the factors heading into this game was the Devils’ power-play unit, which was ranked 10th in the league and 3rd at home, and it produced a goal in the second period from Marcus Johansson that helped his team regain the lead.

New Jersey’s scoring output only increased as the period progressed with John Moore making it a two-goal Devils lead late in the second and giving his team added momentum going forward.

Lehner got the nod in net after Wednesday’s tough loss in overtime against the Islanders. He faced 38 shots and earned 35 saves in a performance that finally earned him a win. 

Although the Sabres struggled in the defensive end, players like Jacob Josefson were able to step up when called upon, as he got the team’s first goal in his first game back in New Jersey.

Jack Eichel was also able to continue his recent success on the ice in this game. With his 14th goal coming with under two minutes in the second, his scoring numbers total to 16 points (8 goals, 8 assists) in his last 12 games.

Despite getting outshot 38-29, the Sabres played aggressively throughout the game and were able to keep pace with a fast New Jersey team.

When it came to the power-play, which has struggled all year, Eichel scored his second of the night to tie the game in the third period and the team finished 1-for-3 with the man advantage. 

After many games this season in which the Sabres lost many games in overtime, it has now become an assumption what the result is heading into the extra frame, it’s refreshing to see Buffalo on the right side of a result after sixty minutes of play.

Following the win, the Sabres next stop on this East coast trip is to Citi Field on Monday to play in the Winter Classic against the New York Rangers. That game is scheduled for  a 1 p.m. puck drop.

Scoring

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NHL Standings

TEAMGPRECPTS
Atlantic Division Leaders:
P8262-16-4128
X8249-24-9107
X8246-28-8100
Metropolitan Division Leaders:
Y8248-26-8104
X8248-27-7103
X8244-26-12100
Wild Card leaders:
X8246-29-799
X8247-31-498
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8244-30-896
8236-32-1486
8237-37-882
8232-36-1478
8233-39-1076
8232-40-1074
8231-41-1072
8229-47-664
TEAMGPRECPTS
Central Division Leaders:
Y8247-29-6100
X8247-30-599
X8245-28-999
Pacific Division Leaders:
Z8250-25-7107
X8246-27-9101
X8243-32-793
Wild Card leaders:
X8243-32-793
X8238-30-1490
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8239-35-886
8236-34-1284
8237-36-983
8235-36-1181
8235-37-1080
8235-38-979
8231-42-971