Greetings from HSBC Arena, with the Bangles ditty "Manic Monday" drifting through the building as the Sabres get set to meet the New Jersey Devils. (No, I'm not a Bangles fan. I had to even Google it to see who sang the darn song). And will it be manic? Probably not. The Devils, infamous for some sleep-inducing hockey, are back at it again this year under Jacques Lemaire en route to their 10-2-1 road record. The Sabres outbored them to take a 4-1 win Oct. 28 in Newark in their first meeting.
What should be interesting is the goaltending matchup of Ryan Miller vs. Martin Brodeur. You might see that one in Vancouver in a couple months. Miller is 16-5-2, 1.85, .936. Brodeur is 17-7-1, 2.20, .920. So let's see if we get a 2-1 game like the stats insist we will.
Reminder: This is a Versus game so faceoff will probably be more in the 7:10-7:15 range. The only way to hear Rick Jeanneret and Harry Neale is on radio. And if you have DirecTV, you can't see this one because they're still embroiled in the bitter battle over Versus. Find a friend with cable or dish or get to your local establishment. You still have time.
16:00 left: Wish I had something to say. Still 3-0. About all that's left is to see if Brodeur gets his shutout. It would be the 103rd of his career and tie Terry Sawchuk's NHL record. So that might be pretty cool for folks here to see.
14:53 left: Mark Fraser goes for high sticking after a flurry in the Devils' end. Brodeur stopped Mair twice on this shift, once on a nifty deflection from in front and got a glove on Montador's shot labeled for the top corner.
10:00 left: Ten minutes away from history for Brodeur.
7:38 left: Brodeur stops Stafford in the slot. His 18th save of the night.
it's over: Brodeur gets the shutout in a 3-0 win.
19:46 left: Quality way to bounce back. MacArthur off for holding. Bleh.
19:21 left: The PK string ends at 18 man advantages as Niclas Bergfors whips home a screen wrister to Miller's right to make it 3-0. Nice screen by Parise in front. Miller had robbed Bergfors about 10 seconds earlier. That's three goals in 2:48.
16:39 left: A brutal shift by Connolly line with Sekera-Montador as Devils had about three chances and stole the puck at least twice in the Buffalo zone. The crowd was booing by the end and gave the quintet the Bronx cheer when the puck finally left the Buffalo zone. Brutal performance thus far. Shots are 17-8 for the Devils.
12:00 left: This has easily been the Sabres' most brutal effort of the season. The Devils continue to buzz the zone and MIller has made a couple saves to keep it a three-goal game. Miller even had to endure a wipeout by his own man as Montador went crashing into the goalie.
9:55 left: Lydman fires a nice cross-ice pass to Mair -- who had one foot over the boards on his way to the bench. The puck bounds down for icing. Fitting for this night. Shots are 21-8 for the Devils and that's pretty indiciative of how this one has gone.
8:03 left: Kaleta tries to get some life into things and pounds a Devil from behind. Boarding.
7:41 left: Myers makes a play to create a 2-on-1 and Pominville is pulled down by Rolston for a penalty that makes it 4-on-4.
2:48 left: Mair wiped out Connolly in the Devils' zone. Hit the white jerseys, dude. Shots are 14-5 in this period for the Devils and 26-10 for the game.
End-2nd: Booooooo. A late power play went nowhere until the final 10 seconds. It has 17 seconds to run in the third period. It remains 3-0 for the Devils through two. Shots are 26-12, including 14-7 in the second. A dominant road performance by New Jersey.
14:18 left: Not much happening but each goalie has a sparkling save. Brodeur stoned Tyler Myers from in tight in the first 70 seconds and Miller robbed Rod Pelley at the 14:42 mark after a Myers giveaway.
13:00 left: With Mike Grier out because his mother is ill, the Sabres have stuck with the lines they put together this morning. The starters were MacArthur-Kennedy-Kaleta, followed by Vanek-Connolly-Stafford (with Stafford again taking faceoffs), Hecht-Roy-Pominville and Mair-Ellis-Paetsch. On defense, it's Lydman-Rivet, Sekera-Montador and Tallinder-Myers.
11:44 left: Shots are 4-3 for the Devils. Brodeur made another nice save in tight on Hecht. Classic New Jersey game. Tight, tight hockey. There are a ton of empty seats in the 100 level, probably late arrivals due to the weather. I've been inside since 4 but I'm told it's a little sticky outside now.
8:08 left: Devils to the power play as Lydman is off for hooking. Boring hockey leads to a dead-dead-dead building. You could hear a pin drop in here.
5:54 left: Parise goes for slashing and the Sabres alertly kill the final 20 seconds of the Lydman penalty on the delay situation so they get the full two minutes on their own 5-on-4. During that time, Myers pushed deep again and fed Sekera for a good chance in the slot that was deflected into the netting. By the way, the Lydman penalty was the 18th straight the Sabres have killed.
3:50 left: The Devils kill the penalty and Myers hobbles off after taking a Rivet shot in the leg. He's still sitting on the bench though. Earlier in the penalty, Sekera and Connolly bobbled the puck at the Devils' line and Dean McAmmond had a golden opportunity at a shorthanded goal before he was cut off by Sekera and Miller.
2:45 left: Resume breathing. Myers back out. And charging toward the net again.
2:09 left: The Devils take a 1-0 lead as Brian Rolston pots his 10th of the year by chipping home a rebound on the backhand in front after Miller made the initial stop on Vladimir Zharkov's rush down the right wing.
1:02 left: Ouch. The Sabres are in a quick 2-0 pickle as Travis Zajac's 40-foot slapper from the right wing bleeds through Miller and rolls into the net. Looked like Sekera might have tipped it just as Zajac released it but that's a save you need to see made.
End-1st: It's 2-0 Devils through one and shots were 12-5. Bad spot for the Sabres to be in against New Jersey and against Brodeur.
taggedAll-Star Game | Sabres game day