Sabres 3, Devils 2 (SO)

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Nathan Gerbe scored in the shootout to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils Sunday night at the First Niagara Center.
Gerbe, shooting second for the Sabres, was the lone scorer in the shootout. He skated patiently up the ice before putting a wrist shot past Devils goalie Martin Brodeur.
Steve Ott and Patrick Kaleta scored in regulation for the Sabres, who improved to 16-17-6 and are riding a three-game winning streak. Ryan Miller had 27 saves and stopped all three New Jersey shooters in the shootout.
Steve Sullivan and Mark Fayne scored for the Devils (15-14-10), who lost their seventh game in a row. Brodeur had 24 saves. Steve Sullivan, Patrick Elias and Travis Zajac came up short in the shootout for New Jersey.
The game was anything but pretty for Buffalo. The Devils dominated puck possession in the Buffalo zone over a 15-minute stretch that carried over from the end of the first period to the opening 10 minutes of the second, making large sections of the game look like a New Jersey power play.
But the Sabres persevered with timely goals and strong goaltending from Miller.
Buffalo got on the board first after a poor New Jersey giveaway. Devils defenseman Andy Greene's ill-advised breakout pass up the middle of the ice was intercepted by Buffalo's Jochen Hecht, who fed Patrick Kaleta for a tap-in. It was Kaleta's first goal of the season, and his first tally since Feb. 12, 2012 (a span of 53 games).
New Jersey turned up the pressure late in the first period and was rewarded with a power play goal from Steve Sullivan at 18:40. Steve Bernier intercepted Tyler Myers' clearing attempt along the end boards and fed Sullivan in front of the Buffalo net for his sixth of the season.
After a flurry of offensive activity from the Devils in the first half of the second period -- and poor defensive play from Buffalo -- the Sabres took a 2-1 lead against the flow of play on Steve Ott's eighth goal of the season. Ott blasted a one-timer from the slot at 13:44 after a feed from Cody Hodgson.
Mark Fayne tied the game at 2-2 on a shorthanded goal 5:46 into the third period. Following a strong rush up ice and behind the Buffalo net from Dainius Zubrus, Zubrus fed Fayne at the right point and the defenseman's wrist shot beat Miller on the blocker size for Fayne's first goal of the year.
New Jersey outshot the Sabres 39-26 overall.
NOTES: Sabres leading scorer Thomas Vanek missed his sixth game in a row with an upper-body injury. Vanek is hoping to return for Buffalo's next game on Tuesday at Winnipeg. Vanek has 33 points (16 goals, 17 assists) in 29 games. ... In addition to Vanek, Ville Leino (upper body) was scratched for the Sabres. ... Henrik Tallinder, Peter Harrold, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Matt D'Agostini and Krystofer Barch were scratched for the Devils. ... Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk continues to be out with a shoulder injury he suffered on March 23. ... This was the third and final meeting between the Sabres and Devils. The teams had split the two games leading up to Sunday's game. ... This was the 139th game all-time between Buffalo and New Jersey. Prior to Sunday, Buffalo led the series with a 70-45-23 record.

What to Read Next