Sabres
Devils
3 - 2 Final
  for this game

Briere helps Sabres end Devils' five-game win streak

Dec 13, 2006 - 2:36 AM
EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- The New Jersey Devils gave the Buffalo Sabres precious few breaks, but when they did, Daniel Briere made them pay.

Briere set up three goals on odd-man rushes and Ryan Miller came within 40 seconds of his second shutout of the season as the Sabres halted the New Jersey Devils' five-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory.

Jochen Hecht scored in the second period, and Maxim Afinogenov and Jason Pominville tallied in the third as the Sabres earned a rare win against the Devils. Buffalo had been 1-10-3 in the last 14 meetings between the teams.

"We knew coming in that we weren't going to get too many odd-man rushes," Briere said. "They play it tight, they play it tough, they don't give you too much. They wait for their opportunities. We wanted to cut (out) us giving them free opportunities. "Against the Devils, that's the way you have to beat them."

Miller had 31 saves and withstood goals by Eric Rasmussen with 40 seconds remaining and Brian Gionta 21 seconds later.

"His effort was real good," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "You always like to get your goaltender a shutout, but the important thing is the win. The way we played, I thought we deserved it."

Martin Brodeur stopped 21 shots for New Jersey, which lost in regulation on home ice for just the second time this season (11-2-1).

The Sabres converted their first odd-man rush of the game to take a 1-0 lead at 12:05 of the second period, as Hecht notched his seventh goal of the season, putting in the rebound of Briere's shot from the top of the crease.

"It would have been really easy for Jochen to circle in the corner and go for a loop," Briere said. "He stopped, came back to the net (and) found the puck."

Briere jumped past Devils defenseman Brian Rafalaski on the left wing to key the next two tallies. Briere raced up the left wing on a 2-on-1 and fed Afinogenov for a one-timer at the bottom of the slot 3:12 into the third period to make it 2-0.

Afinogenov has six career goals against Brodeur, his best total against any goaltender. Briere took a feed from Dmitri Kalinin and blew by the shifty Rafalski once again, this time setting up Pominville, who redirected a perfect feed just inside the right post.

"We got a couple of bad bounces," Rafalski said. "But we had them in check most of the game and thought we played all right."

"A few breakdowns, and this team thrives on them," Devils coach Claude Julien said. "They made us pay dearly for the few mistakes we did make."

With 40 seconds left, Rasmussen got New Jersey on the board by swatting in a fluttering puck. The goal initially was disallowed, but was turned over upon review.

"I thought he hit it with a high stick before he hit it again," Miller said. "I don't think they were even looking at that."

Gionta tallied with 19 seconds remaining, tipping in a point shot by Patrik Elias to suddenly make it a one-goal game, but the Devils mustered no more chances.

"They tried to bury us right away after they scored the second goal," Brodeur said. "They put more pressure to get that last goal to seal the deal for them, and it happened. They went for it when it was 2-0, got another break and were able to put it in."

The Devils had the best opportunities of the first period, with Gionta hitting the crossbar in the middle stages and Scott Gomez, among others, getting denied by Miller in a flurry just before the end. With 6:23 left in the second, Miller stopped Jim Dowd with a poke check during a Buffalo power play.

"We played a lot better in the second and the third," Miller said. "I thought we looked good."

Drew Stafford had the Sabres' best chance during a scoreless game with 12:10 left in the second period, but Brodeur got his pads on the rookie's close-range effort in the tightly contested game.

Stafford was recalled from Rochester before the game, and took the spot in the lineup vacated by Sabres captain Chris Drury, who sat out with the flu. Drury had not missed a game this season.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 1 2 3
    NEW JERSEY 0 0 2 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: BUF - JOCHEN HECHT 7 (DANIEL BRIERE) 12:05
    3RD PRD: BUF - MAXIM AFINOGENOV 13 (DANIEL BRIERE) 3:12
    BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 13 (DANIEL BRIERE, DMITRI KALININ)
    5:29
    NJD - ERIK RASMUSSEN 2 (JIM DOWD, BRAD L

    Dec 12 9:29 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 3
    NEW JERSEY 2
    3RD PRD: NJD - BRIAN GIONTA 13 (PATRIK ELIAS, JOHN MADDEN) 19:41

    Sabres vs. DevilsDec 12 9:27 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 3
    NEW JERSEY 1
    3RD PRD: NJD - ERIK RASMUSSEN 2 (JIM DOWD, BRAD LUKOWICH) 19:20

    Sabres vs. DevilsDec 12 9:25 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 3
    NEW JERSEY 0
    3RD PRD: BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 13 (DANIEL BRIERE, DMITRI KALININ)
    5:29

    Sabres vs. DevilsDec 12 8:58 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    NEW JERSEY 0
    3RD PRD: BUF - MAXIM AFINOGENOV 13 (DANIEL BRIERE) 3:12

    Sabres vs. DevilsDec 12 8:55 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 1 1
    NEW JERSEY 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: BUF - JOCHEN HECHT 7 (DANIEL BRIERE) 12:05
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUF 8 11 19
    NJD 15 8 23
    GOALIES: BUF - RYAN MILLER
    NJD

    Dec 12 8:31 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    NEW JERSEY 0
    2ND PRD: BUF - JOCHEN HECHT 7 (DANIEL BRIERE) 12:05

    Sabres vs. DevilsDec 12 8:21 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0
    NEW JERSEY 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUF 8 8
    NJD 15 15
    GOALIES: NONE

    Dec 12 7:40 PM