NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Buffalo
(Wednesday, October 13th)
Final Score: New Jersey 1, Buffalo 0 (OT)
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Ilya Kovalchuk, who signed a 15-year, $100 million deal with the Devils this offseason, scored his first goal of the season 53 seconds into overtime to lift New Jersey over Buffalo, 1-0, at HSBC Arena.
Jamie Langenbrunner controlled the puck at center ice and slid a pass to the right circle for Matt Taormina. Kovalchuk trailed the play and was set up perfect for a one-timer that gave rookie head coach John MacLean and the Devils their first win of the year.
"It's always good to get the first one out of the way," MacLean said. "I'm more excited how they played tonight. It's short-lived in the regular season so you have to enjoy it right now, but get ready for the next one."
Martin Brodeur made 24 saves to record the 111th shutout of his career.
Ryan Miller turned aside 34-of-35 shots for the Sabres, who have lost three in a row after opening the season with a win over Ottawa.
The first period was absolutely dominated by the Devils, who outshot the Sabres 15-1. Buffalo's lone shot of the frame came with 3:43 to go.
Brodeur made 15 saves in the second stanza, while Miller turned aside 11 shots.
With less than a minute to play in the third, New Jersey had a great chance to win the game. Dainius Zubrus charged down the left side of the ice to lead a 3-on-1 advantage. He got a Buffalo defender sliding on the ice before taking a shot from the slot. The rebound came right back to Zubrus, whose backhander almost snuck past Miller.
Each goaltender made eight saves in the third period.
"We did a lot of good things in the game, but we made enough mistakes to lose the game," Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff said. "We had chances to put it away."
Buffalo was without forward Jason Pominville (concussion), whose streak of 336 consecutive games played, dating back to a healthy scratch when the Sabres faced the Flyers on April 7, 2006, came to an end...The Devils and Sabres split four games last season, but New Jersey has taken five of seven and eight of the last 13 meetings overall. The Devils have also come out on top in five of seven and seven of their last 10 trips to western New York. The Sabres will be celebrate the team's 40th anniversary this Friday night - 40 years to the day of their first home game against the Montreal Canadiens on October 15, 1970...Forward Adam Mair, who signed a one-year deal with New Jersey on Tuesday, spent the first seven seasons of his career with Buffalo.
10/14 00:29:22 ET