NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at New Jersey
(Friday, October 28th)
Final Score: New Jersey 3, Buffalo 2
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Sergei Brylin scored the go-ahead power-play goal with 5:23 left in the third period, boosting the New Jersey Devils to a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.
New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur missed the contest due to a sprained right knee. It's the first time he's been absent from a game because of injury since November 4, 2000. Brodeur, who suffered the injury in Wednesday's 6-3 loss to visiting Tampa Bay, is also expected to miss Saturday's game at Boston.
Scott Clemmensen started in Brodeur's place and had 25 saves, as the Devils snapped a two-game slide but continued their domination of the Sabres. Erik Rasmussen and Scott Gomez also scored for New Jersey, which is unbeaten against Buffalo in its last 11 meetings. That includes seven straight wins over the Sabres at Continental Airlines Arena.
Daniel Briere and Chris Drury scored in a 1:27 span of the third period to tie the game for the Sabres, who lost their second straight.
A costly delay-of-game penalty on Henrik Tallinder cost Buffalo. He flipped the puck over the glass and was whistled for a two-minute minor with 6:01 left in the third.
Brylin's game-winner, which was scored on the power play, came 55 seconds after Drury had tied the game just before the penalty. Brian Rafalski took a shot from the top of the right circle. Brylin, positioned in the slot, redirected the puck past goaltender Ryan Miller.
"He was looking for a shot and I was in front of the net and he saw my stick," Brylin said of Rafalski. "I guess and he shot for the tip and I just tipped that big puck up a little bit and it went in."
Miller, who finished with 24 saves, was pulled in the final minute, but the Sabres failed to get the equalizer, despite peppering Clemmensen with 16 shots in the third.
Rasmussen scored with 3:18 left in the second period from the low slot after receiving a pass from behind the net from Grant Marshall.
It became 2-0 at 3:51 of the third period on Gomez's blast from above the left circle.
Briere's power-play tally at 12:15 came off a fortunate deflection. Briere skated from below the left circle and tried a pass through the slot, but the puck caromed off Rafalski's skate and past Clemmensen.
"Personally, it was just luck," Briere said. "It hit the skate and went in. So far this season it's the way it has been going for myself. The puck is bouncing for me. I'll take 'em while I can."
Mike Grier's backhand pass from behind the net found Drury below the right circle, and his shot beat Clemmensen high to tie the game.
Rasmussen is a former Sabre, having played for Buffalo the first five seasons of his NHL career...The Devils were 1-for-3 on the power play, while Buffalo was 1-for-5...Briere has a six-game point streak...New Jersey defenseman Colin White missed the contest due to a groin injury.
10/29 01:51:37 ET