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Game Preview: Devils Looking to Rebound vs. Sabres

New Jersey hosts the Sabres at the Prudential Center with the hopes to get back in the win column.

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Game Preview: Devils Looking to Rebound vs. Sabres

The New Jersey Devils are looking to burn the tape from Friday night’s 2-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Buffalo Sabres come to town on the back of a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Both the Devils and the Sabres will be taking part in their second game in as many nights on Saturday.

Moral is low in New Jersey. The Devils are losers in six of their last seven. The Devils didn’t look quite right following some tough conversations amongst themselves on Thanksgiving day. They hope to rebound against Buffalo tonight.

The last time the Devils played the Sabres, they lost captain Nico Hischier in the process. You have to wonder how short New Jersey’s memory will be after Connor Clifton’s illegal check to the head.

This morning, Timo Meier returned to the ice for an optional skate. Head coach Lindy Ruff provided some injury updates and disclosed there are decisions to be made regarding tonight’s lineup.

“We’ve got some decisions to make on (our injured guys),” Ruff said. “(For) Timo, it’s the first time he’s hit the ice (in 10 days). We’ll look at all available options later on (today).”

Let’s dive into Saturday night’s tilt against Buffalo.

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

Projected Devils Lineup

Tyler Toffoli – Jack Hughes – Jesper Bratt

Erik Haula – Michael McLeod – Curtis Lazar

Ondrej Palat – Dawson Mercer – Alexander Holtz

Max Willman – Chris Tierney – Nathan Bastian

Jonas Siegenthaler – Dougie Hamilton

Kevin Bahl – John Marino

Colin Miller – Luke Hughes

Vitek Vanecek

Akira Schmid

Projected Sabres Lineup

Jeff Skinner –  Dylan Cozens – Alex Tuch

Zach Benson – Casey Mittelstadt –  JJ Peterka

Zemgus Girgensons –  Peyton Krebs –  Kyle Okposo

Tyson Jost –  Victor Olofsson

Mattias Samuelsson – Rasmus Dahlin

Owen Power – Ryan Johnson

Connor Clifton – Erik Johnson

Henri Jokiharju

Devon Levi

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen

Last Game

The Devils squandered the opportunity to claim two points and gain some momentum post-American Thanksgiving. Dougie Hamilton continues to struggle defensively as he was the direct result of two first-period goals for the Blue Jackets. Columbus only needed goals from Boone Jenner and Eric Robinson to take a 2-1 victory over New Jersey on Friday night. Alexander Holtz scored his fifth goal of the season between Columbus goals. Akira Schmid stopped 26 pucks while Elvis Merzlikins captured the win making 37 saves.

Player to Watch

The last time the Devils played the Sabres, it was Erika Haula who propelled New Jersey to claiming two points after a multi-goal effort. Haula continues to skate in an elevated role while the Devils deal with some key injuries missing from the lineup. The Finnish forward has six goals and 11 points in 16 games this season. In his career against the Sabres, Haula has registered four goals and seven points in 15 contests.

Devils vs. Sabres

According to the Devils’ PR, “The Devils and Buffalo face-off for the second of three matchups this season, after Jersey’s team defeated the Sabres on Dec. 27, by a score of 5-4.

Remaining matchup:

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: 73-75-17-9
Home: 38-36-9-3
Road: 35-39-8-6

THE MOST/LAST TIME…

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

Tue., Nov. 28, vs NYI, 7:00 P.M. E.T.
Thu. Nov. 30, at PHI, 7:00 P.M. E.T.
Fri. Dec. 1, vs SJS, 7:00 P.M. E.T.
Tue. Dec. 5, at VAN, 10:00 P.M. E.T.
Thu. Nov. 7, at SEA, 10:30 P.M. E.T.

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