New Jersey

Buffalo Sabers beat New Jersey Devils 5-4

BUFFALO, NY — Alex Tuch had two goals and an assist as the Buffalo Sabers beat the New Jersey Devils 5-4 on Friday night.

Dylan Cozens and Jack Quinn each had a goal and an assist, Tage Thompson scored his 44th goal and JJ Peterka had two assists to help the Sabers snap a four-game skid and win for the third time in 13 games ( 3-8-2). Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 27 saves to win for the first time in seven starts.

Buffalo stayed on the fringes of contention for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot, trailing Pittsburgh by six points for the second wild card.

Jack Hughes had two goals and an assist for the Devils, who lost five of six (1-3-2). Kevin Bahl added a goal and an assist, and Yegor Sharangovich also scored. New Jersey retired Akira Schmid after the goaltender allowed three goals on seven shots in the first 10:55. Vitek Vanecek made 17 relief saves.

New Jersey, two points behind first-place Carolina in the Metropolitan Division, entered the night needing a win to clinch a playoff berth for the first time since 2018 and reach 100 points in the standings. for the first time since 2012.

Hughes scored his 38th and 39th goals five minutes apart to bring the Devils within a goal before the middle of the third period. Hughes was also disallowed a goal late in the second period when the Sabers successfully challenged Sharangovich to be offside.

Tuch’s second-period goals extended Buffalo’s lead to 5-2. Jeff Skinner put Tuch in the high slot with 4:50 left in the period, and Tuch tipped Rasmus Dahlin’s point shot on the power play with 3:22 left for his 32nd goal.

Cozens and Thompson scored 39 seconds apart to give the Sabers an early lead. Thompson’s breakaway goal was the 100th of his NHL career. His 44 goals are the most by a Sabers player in 30 years.

Sharangovich scored for the Devils less than two minutes later, but the Sabers responded when Cozens set up Quinn for the rookie’s 14th goal.

Bahl made it 3-2 with 1:14 left in the first when he fired a shot from the right wall past Luukkonen.


Sabers players warmed up in green jerseys with the names of local veterans on the back. The jerseys were offered to the soldiers present for the military appreciation evening.

Captain Kyle Okposo’s jersey recognized Nicholas Warden, a US Army veteran who died in 2017 while serving in Syria. A video played during the first intermission showed the team’s adopted service dog, Nikki, who was named in Warden’s honor.


Devils: hosts Ottawa on Saturday night.

Sabers: At the New York Islanders on Saturday night.


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