NEWARK, N.J. -- Greetings from yet another empty building on the road, as the Sabres face the Devils in sparkling Prudential Center in not-so-sparkling Newark. The plush seats that make up the six center-ice sections are five-eighths empty with minutes to go till puck drop.
As you should know from reading earlier blogs, the Sabres are without goalie Ryan Miller (knee) and captain Craig Rivet, who stayed home with the flu. The Devils are without goalie Martin Brodeur (elbow).
7:08 p.m.: I think five-eighths may have been an overstatment. Three-quarters is more like it. Of course, considering it costs $30 to park here (yes, Accounting Department, I have the receipt), I wouldn't come to a game at this place, either.
7:10 p.m.: Andrej Sekera is Tyler Myers' blue-line partner.
7:13 p.m.: Devils make announcement at first whistle congratulating Lindy Ruff on coaching his 1,000th game for the Sabres tonight.
7:14 p.m.: I think this might be somewhere around my 500th game covering the Sabres. Think anyone will congratulate me? (That's just a total guesstimate, by the way, when I factor in nine seasons, with 70 games or so each of the last three. I have no idea how many games it's been, nor do I care at the moment. I can tell you this has been the least-fun team to cover, and that has nothing to do with its win-loss record. OK, enough rambling -- for now.)
7:26 p.m.: Jhonas Enroth likes to make glove saves with a flourish, and possibly because of that it's 1-0 New Jersey. Enroth swiped his glove at Patrik Elias slap shot, and he didn't catch it clean. The puck dropped in front of him, and Jason Arnott drove the net and backhanded it home with 9:48 left. The Devils have five shots, the Sabres four.
7:29 p.m.: Sabres get first power play when Dainius Zubrus trips Derek Roy with 7:23 left. The Sabres pulled Enroth for the extra skater during the delayed penalty, and a bad pass sent the puck all the way down toward the empty Buffalo net, but the puck hit the outside of the post to keep the score 1-0.
7:32 p.m.: To no one's surprise, the Sabres fail to score on the power play. They are now 1 for 21 over the past six-plus games.
7:36 p.m.: New Jersey does not have Ice Girls (instead they have dudes dressed in white coveralls who remind me of that faceless garbage man who would carry Oscar the Grouch around on Sesame Street), but it does have the Devils Dancers. It's still 1-0 with 2:48 left.
7:44 p.m.: And at the end of one period, it's New Jersey with a 1-0 lead and a 9-8 edge in shots. And here's a picture of Bruno the Trashman, who I thought wore white but I guess not.
It's been a long time since I tuned in to Sesame Street, but that's still who I was thinking of.
7:58 p.m.: Game on.
8:02 p.m.: The Internet in here is superslow, so like four minutes ago the line of Patrick Kaleta, Matt Ellis and Paul Gaustad were stopped on two great scoring chances by goalie Johan Hedberg, who just stymied Thomas Vanek on a wrap-around with 17 minutes left.
8:09 p.m.: While I was waiting for the blog to refresh, the Sabres scored twice in 13 seconds. Jason Pominville's shot from the slot went over Hedberg's glove with 14:38 left, and Derek Roy ripped a slap shot over Hedberg's glove that sent the water bottle flying with 14:25 to go. The Devils called a timeout, and it's 2-1 Buffalo.
UPDATE FROM ONE NEWS PLAZA: Technical problems in the Prudential Center have delayed tonight's live blog. If the issues get resolved, coverage will continue as soon as possible.