The Time: 7:30 PM EDT
The Broadcast: TV - NBCSN; Radio - 660 AM & 101.9 FM WFAN
The Ticket Link from TiqIQ: Are you in the Buffalo area and want to see the Devils try to turn their luck around? Get last minute tickets here: New Jersey Devils tickets.
The Last Devils Game: It was just last night and it was frustrating. The Devils fell 2-1 to the Maple Leafs with the lone goal scored by David Clarkson. It took until the third period for the Devils to score - and it had been over 140 minutes since the puck had found the back of the net before that. It was a painful game to watch, and if you really want to relive it you can read John's recap here. Spoiler alert: I can't imagine John had any fun writing it.
The Last Sabres Game: The Sabres were off last night, but were victorious over the Senators on Friday evening. Buffalo found success from their young guns with goals from Luke Adam, Brian Flynn, and Jochen Hecht. Steve Ott also scored and Ryan Miller had a solid performance in net. It was a huge third period for the Sabres in which they scored three unanswered goals for a 4-2 win. You can read the full recap from the game at Die By The Blade here.
The Last Devils-Sabres Game: The last game we saw against the Sabres broke a six game losing streak - much like the one the Devils are in right now. With two third period goals from Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias, the Devils erased a two-goal deficit and were victorious in the shootout. You can read the full recap from that game here.
The Goal: The Devils are coming into this game in a very similar manner to their last contest against the Sabres. With a six game losing streak and more than a little trouble scoring, the Devils now find themselves three points out of a playoff spot and at the bottom of the Atlantic Division. They need to find a way finish. Last night, the Devils had over one minute of 5 on 3 power play time in the first period and finished the game 6 on 4 with an empty net and failed to convert in both cases. It is opportunities like these that make each loss tougher to swallow.
The powerplay was abysmal last night. Not only did the team fail to convert on five attempts with the extra man, they couldn't even set up and get a quality chance. They had one shot. One.
On the other hand, the penalty kill was a bright spot in the loss allowing only a few shots on five penalties and getting an opportunity to score from Adam Henrique. The powerplay needs to step up in a big way and the penalty kill needs to stay solid tonight. I'm not sure who will do it, but someone needs to step up with the man advantage without Kovalchuk. Maybe Steve Sullivan will be the guy - he did have success playing the point for the Penguins last season.
Speaking of Sullivan, hopefully he is feeling more comfortable after getting a game under his belt. He had one awesome opportunity last night, and he all but guaranteed he wouldn't miss it if it came his way again - let's see if he can keep his word.
The Sabres are in 12th place in the east. They just traded away their captain. That all seems to work in the Devils' favor, but the Sabres have won their last two games and are not coming off a back-to-back like the Devils are. It isn't going to be an easy game, and hopefully the Devils don't play like it will be. I'm not going to waste anyone's time writing pages about finishing chances or puck luck. I don't care how they do it, but they need to score. That's it.
Do you think the Devils have it in them to get a win tonight? What do you think they need to do to find success? What lineup would you put on the ice? Please discuss what you think is the secret the Devils have yet to discover for victory in the comments section below. Thanks for reading.