The Buffalo Sabres needed two points tonight against the New Jersey Devils who were struggling and playing their third game in five night. Fortunately, the scoring finally showed up for the Sabres tonight with a big second period.
It got off to a rough start tonight for the Sabres. Vladimir Sobotka forgot to cover his man in front of the net and resulted in Blake Coleman deflecting a pass by Carter Hutton just 1:30 into the game.
After successful killing a penalty just after the goal, the Sabres took over from that point on.
Tage Thompson had a few good chances, CJ Smith had one early, and Jeff Skinner had a chance of his own as well. Unfortunately, they were unable to beat Keith Kinkaid in the opening 20 minutes.
Buffalo had a 11-5 lead in shots on goal and 24-10 advantage in shot attempts. Yet, the Devils led 1-0 after the first period.
Well scoring wasn’t a problem in the second period.
Skinner got things started early with a beautiful shot over the shoulder of Kinkaid to tie it at one. After that the flood gates opened.
Smith gave the Sabres the lead with his first career NHL goal by squeezing it under the arm of Kinkaid.
Casey Mittelstadt ended his scoring drought by skating through the entire Devils defense and putting home his own rebound.
Mittelstadt goal replay 2 pic.twitter.com/uCduVhjvk1— Ben Mathewson (@Ben_Mathewson) January 9, 2019
Not done yet.
Sobotka made a great look to Evan Rodrigues short handed. He went down the ice with Jake McCabe and pulled off the fake-shot pass move again. McCabe had a wide open net to make it 4-1.
Lawrence Pilut capped the scoring for the period with his first of his career from downtown.
The Pilut is ready for takeoff ✈️ pic.twitter.com/2VAlSvN4OU— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) January 9, 2019
A five goal period to give the Sabres a 5-1 lead after 40 minutes.
The third period was more of a formality with both teams playing it out. Sabres picked up a big two points and will probably get Jack Eichel back for their weekend set of games.
Final: Sabres 5, Devils, 1
Shots on Goal: Sabres 33 | Devils 21
Sabres Goal Scorers: Jeff Skinner (29), CJ Smith (1), Casey Mittelstadt (6), Jake McCabe (4) (SHG), and Lawrence Pilut (1)
Devils Goal Scorers: Blake Coleman (13)
Three Stars of the Game
1. Tage Thompson (1 A, 6 SOG)
2. Evan Rodrigues (1 A)
3. Sam Reinhart