NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Thursday, March 30th
(All times eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (45-21-6) at New Jersey Devils (36-27-9), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - One night after ending their longest losing streak of the
season, the Buffalo Sabres travel to Continental Airlines Arena to take on the
New Jersey Devils.
The Sabres enter Thursday's action fourth in the Eastern Conference with 96
points -- six ahead of fifth-place Philadelphia. Buffalo can clinch a playoff
berth tonight if ninth-place Atlanta loses to Tampa Bay and the Sabres get at
least one point versus the Devils.
On Wednesday, J.P. Dumont scored two goals to lift the Sabres to a 4-3 victory
over the Boston Bruins at HSBC Arena. Chris Drury added a goal and an assist
for the Sabres, who put an end to a six-game losing streak. Tim Connolly
returned to action for Buffalo after missing the last seven games with a knee
injury and had two assists.
Daniel Briere had three helpers while Ryan Miller made 24 saves for the
Sabres, who have not been in the postseason since Dominik Hasek and Co.
advanced in 2000-01.
The Sabres begin a three-game road trip tonight and will visit Toronto on
Saturday to open a two-game set.
New Jersey, meanwhile, has won two of its last three games. On Tuesday, Scott
Gomez scored the only goal in the shootout to lead the Devils to an important
3-2 victory over the Senators at Scotiabank Place.
John Madden and Brian Gionta both scored unassisted goals for New Jersey,
which has 81 points and now sit in a three-way tie at the bottom of the East
playoff field with Tampa Bay and Montreal. New Jersey goaltender Martin
Brodeur allowed two goals on 38 shots and stopped Daniel Alfredsson to clinch
Gomez' shootout winner did not come without some question. The veteran forward
skated straight in on goaltender Ray Emery and pushed a backhander into his
pads. Emery slid far enough back into the net with the puck under his glove
that the referee ruled it a goal. After review the play was allowed to stand.
The Devils will visit Philadelphia on Saturday.
Jersey is 2-1 against Buffalo this season and 9-1-3 (1 loss, 3 ties) in the
last 13 meetings overall.
The Sabres have lost in seven straight trips to the Meadowlands.
03/30 10:21:51 ET