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Game Preview: Devils Hope to Right Ship vs. Sabres

The Devils host the Sabres at The Rock as they seek answers to their first-period woes.

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NEWS: Devils Activate Captain Nico Hischier from Injured Reserve
(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

The New Jersey Devils (3-2-1) received an off day on Thursday despite their embarrassing loss to the Washington Capitals two days ago. Tonight, New Jersey faces the Buffalo Sabres (3-4-0), a fellow up-and-coming team trying to figure out if they’re a contender or pretender. After establishing themselves in the 2022-23 season, New Jersey is hoping to right the ship on Friday night.

Time: 7:00 PM      Watch/Stream: MSGSN/MSG+      Listen: DEVILS HOCKEY NET

Projected Devils Lineup

Ondrej Palat-Nico Hischier-Jesper Bratt

Tyler Toffoli-Jack Hughes-Timo Meier

Erik Haula-Dawson Mercer-Curtis Lazar

Alexander Holtz-Michael McLeod-Nathan Bastian

Jonas Siegenthaler-Dougie Hamilton

Kevin Bahl-John Marino

Brendan Smith-Luke Hughes

*Vitek Vanecek

Akira Schmid

Projected Sabres Lineup

Jordan Greenway-Tage Thompson-Dylan Cozens

Jeff Skinner-Casey Mittelstadt-Alex Tuch

Tyson Jost-Peyton Krebs-J.J. Peterka

Victor Olofsson-Zemgus Girgensons-Kyle Okposo

Rasmus Dahlin-Mattias Samuelsson

Owen Power-Henri Jokiharju

Connor Clifton-Erik Johnson

Eric Comrie

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen

*Projected Starter

Last Game

The Devils started on their heels again on Wednesday allowing the Capitals to score three straight goals in the first period. Anthony Mantha, Dylan Strome, and Sonny Milano got the Newark crowd restless early as the Devils went down 3-0 in the opening 20 minutes. However, a three-assist second period for Jack Hughes and two goals by Tyler Toffoli helped the Devils claw their way back into the contest that ended 4-3 in New Jersey’s favor after 40 minutes. Unfortunately, the Devils came out just as flat in the third as they did in the first. Strome quickly tied the game with his second of the night. Connor McMichael scored the game-winner and Alex Ovechkin hit the empty net to send Washington to a 6-4 victory.

Lindy Ruff was forced to pull Akira Schmid who made five saves on eight shots following the first period. Vitek Vanecek’s relief was better, but still not great making 14 saves on 16 shots. Regardless, the 6-4 loss is on the Devils defense.

The inconsistent Sabres are without Devon Levi while he deals with a lower-body injury. As a result, they’re depending on Eric Comrie and Ukka-Pekka Luukkonen for saves. Buffalo faced the Ottawa Senators, another fellow up-and-coming team trying to find their stride and get back into the playoffs. The Sabres were propelled to a 6-4 victory over Ottawa on the back of Tage Thompson’s two-goal, three-point performance. Jeff Skinner potted a pair, and Alex Tuch chipped in a goal and assist. Pekka-Luukkonen made 34 saves on 38 shots.

Player to Watch

It feels like Jack Hughes is the player to watch every night.

Rightfully so. With the way he’s playing, he’s must-see TV.

In Devils franchise history, the longest multi-point game streak in franchise history is five games. That record is held by Hughes who matched Scott Gomez (2005-06) and Kirk Muller (1987-88) last season. Currently, Hughes is riding a three-game multi-point streak. He can catch himself and even break the franchise record over the next three games if he keeps this up.

Devils vs. Sabres

According to Devils PR, “The Devils and Buffalo face-off for the first of three matchups this season.

Nov. 25, vs BUF, 7:00 P.M.
Mar. 29, at BUF, 7:00 P.M.

New Jersey was 2-1-0 vs Buffalo last season and outscored the Sabres 13-8. The Devils are 8-5-1 against Buffalo since 2020-21. The last time that Jersey’s lost a season series vs Buffalo was in 2019-20: 0-2-0

ALL-TIME vs Buffalo

Record: 72-75-17-9
Home: 37-36-9-3
Road: 35-39-8-6

DID YOU KNOW…

The most goals in franchise history earned in a single game vs Buffalo was eight, twice, and last earned on Feb. 25, 2004, in an 8-2 win at Continental Airlines Arena.

The most goals that the franchise allowed in a single game vs Buffalo was eight, four times, and last logged on Jan. 15, 1992, in an 8-8 tie at the Meadowlands.

The most shots that the franchise earned in a single game vs Buffalo 54 on Dec. 29, 1990, in a 4-4 tie at the Meadowlands.

The most shots that the franchise allowed in a single game vs Buffalo was on Feb. 2, 1975, in an 8-1 loss at Buffalo (KCS).

The shots that the Devils (team history) allowed in a single game vs Buffalo was on 46 on Mar. 25, 2019, in a 3-1 loss at Jersey.

The last time that the Devils shut out Buffalo was on Dec. 15, 2015, in a 2-0 win at Buffalo (C. Schneider, 22 saves).

The last time that Buffalo shut out the Devils was on Mar. 26, 2011, in a 2-0 loss at Buffalo (R. Miller, 28 saves).

The Devils and Buffalo met in the Stanley Cup Playoffs once, which was in 1993-94 when Jersey eliminated the Sabres in seven
games.”

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Sun. Oct. 29, vs MIN, 5:00 P.M. E.T.
Thu. Nov. 2, at MIN, 8:00 P.M. E.T.
Fri. Nov. 3, at STL, 8:00 P.M. E.T.
Sun. Nov. 5, at CHI, 7:00 P.M. E.T.

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