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58 seconds into the game, and the Buffalo Sabres had already matched their goal total from their previous two meetings with the Devils. A bouncing puck pass from Brian Campell to Daniel Paille was too much for a stunned Martin Brodeur to handle, and Buffalo got on the board first.
Less than 10 minutes later, Paille was at it again, as he fooled Brodeur on another bouncing puck from a bad angle to give Buffalo a 2-0 lead. However, Brent Sutter's team, who has been running the wheels all season, and has been playing with a "no quit" attitude, would scored 2 unanswered and force the overtime period, and ultimately the shootout.
Paul Martin scored the only goal of the second period at 13:47, as he shot a "beauty" from the right point, which deflected right off of Miller's glove into the net. Johnny Oduya and Brian Gionta assisted on the Devil's first goal. Then, with 67 seconds left in regulation, David Clarkson tied the game at 2 on an assisted pass from Andy Greene. Ryan Miller continues to look shaky in net for the struggling Sabres.
In the shootout, Zach Parise and Patrick Elias each scored to nail the 3-2 game for the Devils, who have 3 victories via the shootout over the Sabres this season. Boy, do the Sabres must enjoy facing the Devils this year! Only this time, the game was at the Prudential Center. Martin Brodeur looked spectacular in the shootout session stopping attempts by Ales Kotalik and Thomas Vanek on net. Patrick Elias, scored the game-winner, what else is new? He seems to be scoring the game-winning goal night in and night out nowadays.
The Devils improved to (26-15-3) and are now 2 pts ahead in the Atlantic as the Pittsburgh Penquins 3-2 to the Atlanta Thrashers in the shootout. As for the Sabres, they are now winless in 9 games, going (0-4-5) over that span.
*Ethan's three stars*
- Patrick Elias- game winning goal in the shootout
- David Clarkson- game-tying goal with 67 seconds left
- Martin Brodeur- 23 saves, after allowing 2 goals in the first 10 minutes
By the numbers
- Brodeur is 8-1-0 in his last nine starts, only having allowed 12 goals
- Buffalo's offense has only scored 11 games in the Sabres' past nine games (So I guess tonight was a slugfest for them.)
- Henrik Tallinder's one-timer from the slot getting blocked by Brodeur early in the second period
- Brodeur's agile defensive gems in the shootout foiling desperate attempts on net by Thomas Vanek and Ales Kotalik
Next up for the Devils is a team that they still haven't managed to beat this season in four trips, and that is the New York Islanders. Devils return home to greet the Islanders on Wednesday, January 16 and will be facing an Islanders team that has been soaring off late going (5-2-3) in their last 10 games.
Read more Devils and NHL News over at DevilsDaily.Com.