Two days after ending their 13-game winning streak, the New Jersey Devils look to get back on track at the Buffalo Sabers on Friday.
The Devils lost 2-1 to the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday, allowing New Jersey just one win to set the franchise mark for back-to-back wins. They opted to repeat the 13-game unbeaten run of February and March 2001.
The Devils’ winning streak was four games short of breaking the 1993 NHL record set by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
New Jersey’s winning streak has carried the Devils to the top of the metropolitan division.
The Devils’ streak didn’t end without controversy. New Jersey, trailing 2-0 after the first half, were disallowed for three goals, with the first two taken off the board for keeper interference.
The third was disallowed after officials ruled that Erik Haula had kicked the puck into the net during a brief opportunity in the third period despite deflecting a Maple Leafs player before crossing the goal line.
Spectators showed their displeasure by littering the ice with debris, resulting in a brief game delay as the Maple Leafs retired to their locker room for safety.
“Nobody feels good. I don’t feel good,” said Devils coach Lindy Ruff, whose team also had two shots off the post. “I don’t like the feeling. I don’t like losing; I know it’s been a while but you don’t want this feeling. Now you have to get over it and prepare for your next game.”
Dougie Hamilton grabbed assists from Yegor Sharangovich and Fabian Zetterlund to put the Devils 2-1 at 5:08. But the Devils couldn’t get the equalizer past Matt Murray, who finished with 34 saves.
Vitek Vanecek made 18 saves for the Devils, who overtook Toronto 35-20.
Buffalo play their first game of the season against New Jersey after a 6-2 win over St. Louis on Wednesday, their second straight win after an eight-game losing streak.
The Sabers pulled away from a 1-1 draw by scoring three goals in the second half to go into the final half with a 4-1 lead where Jack Quinn scored twice to take the lead to 6th place :1 to expand.
Jeff Skinner also scored twice, while Dylan Cozens and Victor Olofsson each scored one. Alex Tuch added two assists and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 34 saves.
The Sabers were passed by the Blues, but Buffalo converted two of their three man-advantage opportunities while St. Louis went 1-3 on the power play.
The Sabers, who ended the Blues’ seven-game winning streak, have scored 13 goals in their last two games after a 7-2 win in Montreal on Tuesday.
“It’s a tough league. It’s going to be tough some nights, and you’re going to go through different types of games, different types of adversities, and you just have to fight your way through it,” said Skinner, who has four goals and seven points in his past two games. “Hopefully we can keep this going for a bit longer.”
–Field level media