SECAUCUS, N.J. -- Lindy Ruff got it all. The Sabres' 5-4 shootout victory over the Devils on Wednesday gave him his 1,000th game and second straight win.
"You can't build unless you put one on the back of the other one, and we've done that," Ruff said. "But when you're in the hole you're in, you need to run a pretty good string together. The easiest way to get back in the picture is win four or five straight."
They get the chance for three tonight when they visit the New York Rangers, who get Marian Gaborik back after a 12-game absence.
The Sabres are expected to have just a team meeting with no skate this morning, which should give me a full day in one of my favorite cities (no, not Secaucus ... I'll be in Manhattan soon). It'll also give Ruff time to chat about his fine new defense pair of Tyler Myers and Andrej Sekera. Myers had a goal and two assists against the Devils and was plus-3.
"We thought we’d go with a more offensive look, and I thought it paid off," Ruff said after the game. "They’re both strong skaters. They’re both good offensively, and tonight I thought it worked. Hopefully that works again."
What's not working is the Ilya Kovalchuk experiment. The Devils $100 million man was booed after missing a golden scoring opportunity to win the game late and again when he ended the game by losing the puck on his shootout well before he got to the net.
"I was kind of surprised he dropped the puck," Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth said. "I didn’t know if he was allowed to pick it up again or anything, so that was kind of surprising."