All it took for the New Jersey Devils to get back in the win column was their biggest period of the season.
A home matchup with the league-worst Buffalo Sabres could help them stay there.
The Devils try to build on a very impressive finish as they meet the Sabres for the first time this season Saturday night.
With five goals scored during a three-game skid and faced with a 2-1 deficit in the third period at Carolina on Friday night, the Devils didn't seem poised for an offensive outburst. But Andrei Loktionov scored the first of four unanswered goals and Jaromir Jagr capped the uprising with the 692nd of his career in a 5-2 victory.
''I didn't see (the big third period) coming,'' coach Peter DeBoer said. ''But I felt good about where our game was and our ability to get a couple of goals in the third period.''
Jagr finished with three points and Dainius Zubrus had a goal and an assist as New Jersey (10-11-5) matched its goal total from the previous three games.
The uncharacteristic offensive display benefited Cory Schneider, who needed to make only 16 saves for his second straight win.
Schneider told reporters he was "frustrated" with his lack of playing time after learning Wednesday that Martin Brodeur would make his third consecutive start in the Devils' 4-3 home loss to the Hurricanes.
It's hard to fault Schneider, who has allowed two goals or fewer in seven of his 11 starts while ranking among the league leaders with a 1.88 goals-against average.
DeBoer could come back with Schneider on Saturday or switch to Brodeur, who has posted an .890 save percentage during a personal three-game skid. Brodeur, though, is 10-2-4 with a 1.52 GAA in his last 17 appearances against Buffalo.
Jagr continues to produce for the Devils, tallying six goals and eight points in his last seven games. The 41-year-old, who is two goals away from tying Mark Messier for seventh on the all-time list, leads the team with 22 points - eight more than his closest teammate.
''I don't really chase anything,'' Jagr said. ''I enjoy my teammates and my linemates. I enjoy the game, the way we play. Our line, I like the way our line played. When I'm happy about our game, I know the goals are going to come."
The Sabres also enter this game after snapping a losing streak, beating Toronto 3-2 in overtime Friday to end a five-game skid. Christian Ehrhoff scored 38 seconds into the extra period to help Buffalo (6-20-1) win for the second time in seven tries under interim coach Ted Nolan.
''Ever since Ted (Nolan) got here, the guys are just building on each and every game,'' said Luke Adam, who scored his first goal since April 5. ''We feel a lot more confident as a team, as players, when we come to the rink every morning for practice. That's carrying over and we're playing a lot better.''
Three goals represented an offensive explosion for the Sabres, who entered averaging a league-worst 1.62. They scored once in each of the previous four contests.
One problem preventing Buffalo from making much progress is its slow starts. The Sabres have been outscored 33-6 and outshot 351-192 during first periods this season.
Ryan Miller has remained a bright spot for the Sabres and was solid again with 22 saves Friday. He's 6-2-2 with a 1.59 GAA in his last 10 games against the Devils.
New Jersey is 4-0-3 in its last seven meetings versus Buffalo.
- Sports & Recreation
- Ice Hockey
- Buffalo Sabres
- Jaromir Jagr
- New Jersey Devils
- Cory Schneider