What a difference 10 days can make. Last Wednesday, the Sabres were shutout 1-0 by the Devils. On Saturday night, Buffalo went into New Jersey and made it look easy, winning 6-1 at the Prudential Center.
Martin Brodeur was expected to get the night off, since the the Devils were playing three games in four nights. Then, shortly before the game, it was announced the Ilya Kovalchuk was a healthy scratch.
The Sabres certainly took advantage of that. Buffalo scored early and continued to pour it on throughout the game, embarrassing the Devils in their own arena.
Johan Hedberg, who made his first start for the Devils, came into the game with 12 wins in 16 career games against Buffalo. After allowing four goals on 15 shots, he was replaced by Brodeur, who allowed two more goals.
The Devils dropped to 0-4-1 on home ice and the Sabres earned their third win on the road.
Craig Rivet did not play after injuring his shoulder in Friday’s game against Ottawa. That allowed Mike Weber to see his first action of the season.
Thomas Vanek scored the final two goals of the game for the Sabres, raising his total to three on the season. Patrick Kaleta found his first of the season after putting home a rebound.
Ryan Miller’s shutout was ended with a goal by Zach Parise in the third period. Miller finished with 26 of 27 saves on the night.
It was hard to notice Weber, especially with all of the scoring going on. He played decent, but there was nothing too impressive. Weber may not get a chance to play next week. Rivet could be back from his shoulder injury. Shaone Morrisonn and Jason Pominville are both not far from returning either.
It is still weird seeing Henrik Tallinder and Adam Mair on New Jersey. Tallinder had a tough game (as did most of the team), but he turned over the puck a few times, gift-wrapping a couple Sabres goals.
The Sabres played well tonight and the Devils didn’t. It’s as simple as that. New Jersey has been struggling to score goals, and they decide to scratch Kovalchuk? That doesn’t make sense. New Jersey has now only scored two goals against Buffalo this season.
This game should give Buffalo some momentum, but I said the same thing about the win over Atlanta.
Buffalo will head to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers on Tuesday. That game will be on Versus.