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Buffalo Sabres @ New Jersey Devils [Preview]

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Sabres_game_image_medium      Devils_game_medium

 

      Game #12

Buffalo Sabres (7-2-2, 16PTS) vs. New Jersey Devils (6-2-2, 14PTS)

7:00 PM EST, Prudential Center

TV: Versus (National)

Radio: WGR 550 (Buffalo), XM-205 (National)

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Both teams have had their share of injuries this season but the most important injury occurred on Saturday night.  New Jersey goalie Martin Broduer left the game with an elbow injury and he has been ruled out for the game against the Sabres.  Broduer is just seven wins shy of tying Patrick Roy for the most wins by a goalie but he will not move any closer on Monday. 

The Devils are already without the services of Brian Rolston, Bobby Holik and defenseman Andy Greene. Despite having to cope with injuries the Devils are off to a good start with a 6-2-2 record and they are averaging three goals a game.  The Devils have always been known as a defensive team but that has changed a little with Brent Sutter behind the bench.  New Jersey is averaging over 32 shots on goal per game while allowing their opponents only 26 shots a game. 

The Devils special teams have struggled this season but they continue to be one of the leagues least penalized teams.  The Devils are allowing nearly a power play goal for every five chances but they have given their opponents only 45 opportunities this season.  If the Sabres can force the Devils to take some penalties, this will be an area they can exploit.

The Sabres have not been without their own injuries this season.  Jochen Hecht and new Sabres captain Craig Rivet remain out of the lineup with injuries and three others have missed time.  Henrik Tallinder returned on Thursday after missing a couple of games, Paul Gaustad made his season debut against Tampa Bay on Thursday and Tim Connolly played for the first time in a 5-0 win against Washington on Saturday.

The Sabres have played well on the road this season with a record of 3-0-2.  The two losses both came in shootouts against the Atlanta Thrashers and Colorado Avalanche.  All four meetings between these two teams went into a shootout last season.  The Devils took three out of four with the only Sabres victory coming on February 6, 2008.