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Photo courtesy of The AP

Sabres down Devils 3-2 in shootout

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550)  -- Hello once again into the Ted Darling Memorial Press Box, high atop ice level at First Niagara Center. We are down to our final three home games for the 2013-14 season here in downtown Buffalo. Tonight the New Jersey Devils make their final trip into town for the season.

Ville Leino is expected back in the lineup tonight for Ted Nolan's squad. The blue and gold will have Nathan Lieuwen in between the pipes. This could be the final trip to Buffalo for Martin Broduer in his storied career. For more from today's morning skate, including more on the Sabres' scratches and injuries, click here for Paul Hamilton's pregame primer.  

Please be sure to comment in the thread below, while I add my thoughts on the game in between the scoring plays. Also, for more on the game give Brian Koziol and myself a follow on Twitter: @BrianWGR and @PatWGR

First Period

18:13 - Nathan Lieuwen made a nice save on a grade A scoring chance at the Buffalo end, and Drew Stafford's hard work draws a penalty for the blue and gold. Let's see if the Sabres can take some early momentum and score.

11:44 - Shots on goal are 5-4 in favor of Buffalo. The Sabres had a couple of good scoring chances, but could not beat Cory Schneider.

10:28 - Brian Flynn is in the box for delay of game, and Lieuwen just bailed him out with a pad save coming across his crease. It is still scoreless thanks to the nifty save on the PK.

3:20 - Since the Flynn penalty, there hasn't been a whole ton of action. Shots are 7-6, New Jersey. They have had more shots since the last entry, but that is not saying much. 
End of Period

Goal Summary

BUF: none
NJ: none

Penalty Summary

BUF: 8:26 - Brian Flynn (2 min., delay of game)
NJ: 1:25 - Patrik Elias (2 min., hooking)

Shots on Goal

BUF - 8, NJ - 10

Second Period

13:58 - Martin Brodeur is on the bench tonight, and it is a shame if he never suits up again in this building. It would have been nice to see him play in person one more time. He was watching the score board as a replay of Dave Hannon's game-winning goal in Game 6 of the 1994 Playoffs was shown.

11:44 - DEVILS GOAL. It appears that former Sabre Dainius Zubrus tipped the puck into a wide open net to get the visitors on the board first. It was a long time coming, it felt like. 1-0 NJ

6:07 - The minutes and seconds are flying off of the clock this frame. This is vintage New Jersey Devils hockey. As bland and vanilla as can be.

3:48 - Lieuwen keeps Michael Ryder off the score sheet and this game 1-0 in favor of NJ with a spectacular save flailing across his crease. That is a save of the year candidate.

End of Period

Goal Summary

BUF: none
NJ: 8:16 - Dainius Zubrus (11) (Michael Ryder, Damien Brunner)

Penalty Summary

BUF: none
NJ: none

Shots on Goal

BUF - 4 (12), NJ - 11 (21)

Third Period

18:21 - SABRES GOAL. Tyler Ennis picks up his 20th goal of the season after a nice passing sequence by Drew Stafford and Ville Leino to set up a streaking Ennis down the slot. Leino made a perfect touch pass across the ice to get the puck to Ennis. 1-1 tie

15:19 - SABRES GOAL. Tyler Ennis and Cody Hodgson connect in the offensive zone, but this time to give the blue and gold the lead. Ennis took a perfect feed from a somewhat tough angle and made no doubt about it on the power play. 2-1 BUF.

12:55 - DEVILS GOAL. A power play goal for the visiting team has brought the two teams even. Ville Leino took a questionable penalty, and by that I mean one he did not need to take. It looked like a double-deflection off the stick of Jaromir Jagr before it went in. 2-2 tie

7:42 - Buffalo going to the power play after Jacob Josefson takes a boarding minor in the neutral zone. This could be the blue and gold's best chance at the game-winner in the next two minutes.

5:31 - A couple of good chances, but no goal for either side. Still 2-2 as we hit the home stretch of this game.

End of Regulation

Goal Summary

BUF: 1:39 - Tyler Ennis (20) (Ville Leino, Drew Stafford). 4:41 - Tyler Ennis (21) PPG (Cody Hodgson, Drew Stafford)
NJ: 6:58 - Tuomo Ruutu (7) PPG (Andy Greene, Marek Zidlicky)

Penalty Summary

BUF: 6:35 - Ville Leino (2 min., holding)
NJ: 3:32 - Steve Bernier (2 min., high sticking). 12:18 - Jacob Josefson (2 min., boarding)

Shots on Goal

BUF - 11 (23), NJ - 10 (31)

2:40 - Ted Nolan calls his one, and only timeout after his team was called for icing. 

End of Overtime


BUF: Tyler Ennis - GOAL
NJ: Jacob Josefson - GOAL 
BUF: Cody Hodgson - NO GOAL
NJ: Damien Brunner - NO GOAL
BUF: Zemgus Girgensons - NO GOAL
NJ: Marek Zidlicky - NO GOAL
BUF: Drew Stafford - GOAL
NJ: Jaromir Jagr - GOAL
BUF: Marcus Foligno - NO GOAL
NJ: Travis Zajac - NO GOAL
BUF: Cory Conacher - NO GOAL
NJ: Tuomo Ruutu - NO GOAL
BUF: Brian Flynn - NO GOAL
NJ: Patrik Elias - NO GOAL
BUF: Matt D'Agostini - NO GOAL
NJ: Adam Henrique - NO GOAL
BUF: Ville Leino - GOAL
NJ: Mike Sislo - NO GOAL
End of Game

Buffalo 3, New Jersey 2 FINAL/Shootout

Final Thoughts

Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good, and sometimes it is better to go to a shootout against a team that is 0-10 in them this season. Make that 0-11 for the Devils in the shootout this year. That is an unbelievable number. I don't know if you would believe it if I told you. But Ville Leino, yes Ville Leino, was boistrously cheered by the fans as he rushed into the zone and scored in the 9th round of the shootout. That was the game-winner, so to speak. Now the blue and gold head out onto the road for a three-game road swing. Next up is a date with former Sabre netminder Ryan Miller and the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night. The Sabres and Blues drop the puck just after eight o'clock on the flagship home of the Sabres Radio Network - WGR Sports Radio 550. Pregame coverage with Brian Koziol begins at 7 p.m.  

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Locations : BuffaloNew Jersey
People : Brian KoziolMartin BroduerNathan LieuwenPaul HamiltonTed Nolan