New Jersey Devils (17-16-8) at Buffalo Sabres (11-26-4)
|Date & Time||Saturday January 4, 2014, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Buffalo Sabres -105 / New Jersey Devils -105 --- Over/Under: 5
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The New Jersey Devils tried to follow up their big win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on New Year's Eve with another over the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night but to no avail. New Jersey turned a 1-1 third period tie into a 5-3 defeat by allowing four Chicago goals over the final 20 minutes. Chicago jumped in front just 1:30 into the final frame and took a two goal lead just 1:14 after that. Less than six minutes minute into the period the lead had grown to 4-1 for Chicago and it left Martin Brodeur scratching his head in this one. Brodeur finished the night allowing five goals on just 24 shots in the defeat. Peter Deboer continues to go back and forth with his goaltenders and while they haven't been the problem for this club this year it's still hard to imagine either one of them is entirely comfortable with the situation. Brodeur knows he's passing the reigns over to Cory Schneider at the end of the year but Deboer needs to find a way to get this team to win this year. New Jersey doesn't have the luxury of a first round pick this season so they need to be in go for broke mode the rest of the way. A match up with the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night should be what the doctor ordered for the Devils but the Sabres have bee playing with a lot more heart lately.
After Ryan Miller stole them a win against the Washington Capitals a few games ago the Sabres have since been outscored 7-1 in two consecutive defeats. Buffalo was dominated in the second period against the Minnesota Wild, getting outshot 15-5 in the middle frame and surrendering three goals against. Tyler Myers scored a late goal for the Sabres in the third period but it wasn't nearly enough for a club that really is offensively challenged at times. Neither one of these teams light the lamp all that much but they have strong goaltending and if they're playing their game they both can limit chances for the other team. Miller will need to be the guy most night's if the Sabres are going to win hockey guys but right now I don't think that bothers him as he continues to prep for the Olympics. After the break he'll most likely be motivated by a trade that sends him to a contender and gives him a shot at the post season. As far as Saturday night's tilt goes it's hard to see either one of these clubs scoring all that much.