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1/27-- Devils Game Recap

By: Brian Deakyne

Buffalo Sabres (31-14-7) 2, New Jersey Devils (34-16-2) 1 (SO)

1st Period Analysis: Coming off a game where no goals were registered and scoring chances were minimal in a 3-0 loss for New Jersey, the Devils wanted to attack the Sabres early. Jersey's Team did just that, earning a power play early. The power play was unsuccessful yet again (1/26 over the last 9 games), but that didn't stop New Jersey. The Devils kept pouring on the shots, but Sabres goalie Ryan Miller was up to the task. Near the end of the period, it wasn't New Jersey but Buffalo that cashed in on a scoring chance, with Adam Mair netting his 2nd goal of the season at 14:14. The Devils would rebound quickly, and maintain possession of the puck for the majority of the final five minutes, and would finish the period out shooting Buffalo 15-9; trailing 1-0.

2nd Period Analysis: The scoring chances didn't stop for New Jersey, who came out in the second period firing on all cylinders. Still, Miller was terrific for the majority of the period, until Brian Rolston drilled a slap shot home at 14:51, his 16th of the season to tie the game. Back and forth action would follow the goal as both teams earned quality chances, but Martin Brodeur and Miller, two goalies who will be playing for Canada and USA, respectively, were solid, stopping the rest.

3rd Period Analysis: In the most exciting period of the game, chances were fairly equal between New Jersey and Buffalo. With arguably two of the best goalies in the world putting on a show, chances were turned away time after time from Brodeur and Miller. The only break in play was a failed Sabres power play at 7:57. Each team tallied seven shots, and no goals were scored as the division leaders in the Atlantic and Northeast head into overtime, tied at one.

Overtime Analysis: Very exciting, back and forth play from the Devils and Sabres, as the National Hockey League intended the 4 on 4 sudden death play to be. Brodeur and Miller, as they have been all night, were magnificent, as they stopped every shot, the Devils registering 5, Buffalo 3.

Shootout Analysis: As dominant as Brodeur was in regulation and overtime, the Sabres exposed him in the shootout. After the all-time wins leader and shutout leader stopped Drew Stafford and of snap shot forehand, Jochen Hecht and Jason Pominville beat him on a forehand deke and snap shot, respectively, giving Buffalo a 2-1 win. Ryan Miller stopped both Devils' shooters (Zach Parise, Jamie Langenbrunner).

The Final Tally: In a game between two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, it was the two Olympic-bound goalies who stole the show Wednesday night. It took a shootout to decide the winner in this game, as Buffalo inched a point closer to New Jersey, who now are losers in six of their last eight games, and continue to struggle on their power play, which is 1 of 26 over the last nine. Still, the Devils were impressive offensively, tallying 40 shots. It was simply a matter of not finishing their chances yet again, a problem the Devils will need to address.

1 comment:

  1. Very good recap of the game, honest opinion, your writing brought the excitement of the game to the one yet that I have read.