Game Preview: Buffalo Sabres vs. New Jersey Devils
Tonight the New Jersey Devils (19-7-1) travel to Western New York to take on the Buffalo Sabres (16-8-2). The Sabres are smack dab in the middle of a 5 game home stand this being the 3rd game in said home stand. The Sabres are on a one game losing streak whereas the Devils are trying to maintain a 2 game winning streak.
The Sabres are coming off of a 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers. New York’s Chris Higgins kicked off the scoring with his 3rd of the year. Ryan Callahan notched a goal midway through the 3rd period and that was all the Devils needed. With :55 seconds left, the Sabres attempted a comeback off of the hot stick (we’ll get to that later) of Jason Pominville. Tyler Myers assisted on Pommer’s goal.
The Devils are fresh off of a Saturday shootout win over the Detroit Red Wings. Jersey allowed the Red Wings to score to straight third period goals in the 3rd period to tie the game at 4. Shootout goals came from Elias and Parise to propel the Devils to victory.
Both the Sabres and Devils are quite stingy on the defensive end. The Devils have returned to their old pal Jacques Lemaire and his trap-esque style of play. The Sabres have a more physical style of shutdown defense as opposed to the strategic style of the Devils. The Sabres are 3rd in the NHL in Goals Against per Game allowing a ridiculously low total of 2.27 goals. The team directly ahead of them (in 2nd)? The New Jersey Devils. The NJD have only allowed 2.22 goals against per game. Damn that .5! I think it’s safe to say that this will be quite the defensive tilt. You can make the comparison for yourself.
With that, let’s get down to business, shall we?
Jason Pominville: Remember the foreshadowing from earlier? Wham! I Quentin Tarantino-ed ya! How you like them apples? But seriously Pommer has been hot lately. He’s got 3 points in the last 2 games. He also scored the lone goal in the aforementioned loss to the Rangers. Hooray. That’s not all though! He also peppered the net with 7 shots in that game and the team in shots the game previous to it. Pominville currently second on the team in goals with 7 and is leading the team in shots with 75. It’s about time Jason stepped up and became a big player. We’ve only been waiting like, 3 seasons. He probably won’t score tonight but I venture he gets 2 assists. Just a guess though.
Ryan Miller: He’s all that and more. That is all.
Ok, I’ll give you more if you want. He’s (still) leading the league in save percentage with .936 and goals against with 1.85. Awesome. He’s also tied for the lead in shutouts with everyone and their brother at 3. But because Miller is pretty much the coolest thing to ever happen to the history of ever NHL.com has him listed at #1. Awesome Blossom. Extra Awesome.
Zach Parise: Zach P. is pretty much tearing it up right now. Like to the max. He scored one of the two Devils’ shootout goals. Parise is currently leading the team in goals with 15 and points with 31. Good things happen when Parise is on the ice. Really good things. He’s leading the league in plus-minus at +17. That’s the best in the entire NHL. Fellow linemate Travis Zajac is in the top five for the NHL at +15. That line is on a roll for sure. Finally, just to put the icing on the epic cake that is Zach Parise is one more statistic: Shots. Parise has consistently been in the upper echelon of players when it comes to shooting. Last year he was in first for most of the year and finished third behind Ovechkin (who had 528) and Eric Staal. This year he leads the league in that very category. I’m scared, to be honest with you. He’s waiting to break out one of these games.
Craig Rivet: Rivet has no points in the three games since is return. He’s not really on top of his game right now. He needs to step up as captain. He can do it. I have faith.
Andy Greene: Though, Greene is not exactly an upper class player, he hasn’t been playing well as of late. He is one of those lower level players who helps support the rest of the team. Think Chris Butler but more New Jersey Devils-ish. We’ll see where he goes tonight.
Miller gets the start tonight for Buffalo because he’s pretty much the greatest thing ever. Have I said that lately?
Marty Broduer gets the start because, well he’s Broduer.
Game is on at 7 on Versus. So if you have DirecTV like we do at Fredonia then you won’t get the game.