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New Jersey at Buffalo

Sabres tip Devils in shootout to snap four-game losing streak

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Jochen Hecht and Jason Pominville gave the Buffalo Sabres a full two points in Ryan Miller's pre-Olympic showdown with Martin Brodeur.

Hecht responded to Brodeur's quick poke-check attempt with a nifty deke of his own in the second round of the shootout, Pominville sealed it with a goal in the next round, and the Sabres snapped a four-game winless streak with a 2-1 victory against the slumping New Jersey Devils on Wednesday.

Miller preserved the bonus point by stopping Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner in the first two rounds to snap a personal three-game shootout losing streak.

"I wasn't going into the game banging my head against the wall, but I knew I could be better in the shootout," Miller said.

Brodeur finished with 30 saves, while Miller made 39 stops in a game that featured a potential Olympic matchup. Miller will likely be the starter for the United States, while Brodeur looks to earn the starting nod for Canada next month in Vancouver.

German Olympian Hecht beat Brodeur with a heads-up play.

"I didn't make my mind up until he got close," Brodeur said about the shootout showdown. "I thought he wasn't really looking at me."

Hecht, who's perfect on all three shootout attempts this season, certainly was.

"I saw him early enough to get out of the way, and it was an empty net," he said.

Adam Mair scored in regulation for Buffalo (31-14-7), which returned home after a 2-3-2 trip.

"It was a hard game," said Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, who shook things up with his struggling team by sitting the defensive pair of Toni Lydman and Steve Montador in favor of Andrej Sekera and Nathan Paetsch. "The effort was good. We stayed away from the situations that we got ourselves into the last couple of games."

Brian Rolston scored the only goal for the offensively-challenged Devils (34-16-2), who've scored 12 times during an eight-game stretch in which they've won only twice (2-5-1).

"We did a good job of creating opportunities, but we didn't finish," said Langenbrunner, who was whistled for goalie interference eight minutes into the third period after delivering a blow to Miller's head, then struck Miller in the mask with a slap shot in overtime. "[Miller] bailed them out of a few situations."

Sabres center Tim Connolly failed to register a point, snapping his career-high 16-game points streak.

Brodeur, meanwhile, rebounded from a poor start against Ottawa on Tuesday in which he was pulled after allowing three goals on 12 shots over the first two periods.

New Jersey was playing its fourth game in six nights, while the Sabres returned Tuesday from their season-long seven-game swing out West.

"To me, it looked like you were looking at two tired teams," Ruff said. "There was only pockets of energy here and there."

Mair gave Buffalo the early lead with his second of the year with 5:46 to go in the first period. Standing in front of the net, Mair was able to get a piece of Derek Roy's slap shot from the top of the right circle.

Rolston tied it with his 16th with 5:09 remaining in the second period. After a long pass from Johnny Oduya at the red line, Rolston raced along the left wing before unleashing a slap shot from the left circle that beat Miller on the short side.

"When you get more chances, you want to win," Devils coach Jacques Lemaire said. "You get a point, but this is a game that I felt we should have won."

Notes

  • Miller snapped a three-game home losing streak against the Devils.
  • Brodeur dropped to 5-1-2 in his last eight against the Sabres.
  • Paetsch picked up his first assist of the season on Mair's goal.
  • Mair has goals in each of the past two games, the first time in his career he has scored in back-to-back contests.
  • There were only two penalties called in the game.
  • The Sabres are 8-0-3 in their past 11 at home.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Jochen Hecht goes right to left and beats Martin Brodeur with the first goal in the SO. (US Presswire)
Jochen Hecht goes right to left and beats Martin Brodeur with the first goal in the SO. (US Presswire)

Scoreboard
New Jersey (34-15-2)01000 (0)1
Buffalo  (31-14-7) «10001 (2)2
Three Stars
R. Miller
BUF


Saves: 39
Save Pct.: .975
A. Mair
BUF


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
J. Hecht
BUF


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
14:14Adam Mair (2), Tip-In. Assist: Roy, Paetsch
2ND PERIOD
14:51Brian Rolston (15), Slap Shot. Assist: Oduya
3RD PERIOD
None
OT
None
2OT
 Jochen Hecht (3), GOAL
 Jason Pominville (3), GOAL
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:45Butler, 2 min, Delay of Game
2ND PERIOD
None
3RD PERIOD
07:57Langenbrunner, 2 min, Goaltender Interference
OT
None
2OT
None
Shots On Goal
 123T
New Jersey1513735
Buffalo910827
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGASO SSO GA
Martin Brodeur 65:0030132
Ryan Miller 65:0039120
Game Information
Attendance - 18690
Referees - Greg Kimmerly, Bill McCreary
Linesmen - Scott Driscoll, Brad Kovachik
 
Other Games
Mon 0 Final
TB 3
Car 5 Final
NYR 1
StL 2 Final
Van 3
Ana 1 Final
Wash 5
Cal 3 Final
Dal 4
Det 2 Final
Min 5