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game recap

Devils 5, Sabres 3

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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Devils 5, Sabres 3
New Jersey Devils 5, Buffalo Sabres 3
Drew Stafford (Photo: Bill Wippert)
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Lindy Ruff: 
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Game Summary

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -The New Jersey Devils are discovering how good they can be without top goalie Martin Brodeur.

David Clarkson had a goal and an assist, and five New Jersey players scored in the Devils' 5-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night.

"We're gaining confidence and learning a lot about each other," said captain Jamie Langenbrunner, who had two assists. "We're proving to ourselves as well as the rest of the league that we have a good team, and not just Marty carrying us. I think it can be huge for us later on in the year."

Travis Zajac, Zach Parise, Bryce Salvador, and Brian Rolston added goals for New Jersey, which snapped a two-game losing streak and won for the 10th time in 13 games (10-2-1). Scott Clemmensen made 23 saves and earned his ninth win in 11 starts.

"It's typical Devils fashion. We're not very exciting to watch, and maybe our team goes unnoticed a little bit, which is fine with us," said Clemmensen, who wrested the No. 1 goalie spot away from Kevin Weekes after Brodeur tore his biceps in early November. "It's an entire team effort."

Clarkson provides a perfect example of that. He had only nine points in 28 games before Wednesday, but his sixth goal of the season scored 6 minutes into the third period proved to be the winner.

He took the puck away along the right boards from Nathan Paetsch, skated toward the net, and made a move on goalie Ryan Miller before deftly slipping a shot between Miller's pads.

Clarkson then assisted on Rolston's goal 3 1/2 minutes later to make it 5-2 with 10:29 to go.

"To be in the lineup, I have to play hard and go to the net hard to create trouble," Clarkson said. "We're a deep lineup with a lot of guys that can do a lot."

New Jersey's Patrik Elias had two assists to extend his point streak to eight games.

The Devils played the entire third period with only five defensemen after Salvador sustained an upper body injury late in the second period.

Drew Stafford, Patrick Kaleta and Paul Gaustad scored for the Sabres, who lost for the second time in six games. Miller finished with 25 saves.

"We tried to play a lazy game," Buffalo defenseman Jaroslav Spacek said. "We didn't have energy to backcheck and that's why they got their chances. We'd better start to trust each other."

Gaustad cut the Sabres' deficit to two just 12 seconds after Rolston's goal, slamming in a rebound from the slot.

"We need to simplify our game," Gaustad said. "We stick to our game of hard hockey, we're a tough team to beat. We made mistakes we shouldn't have."

Zajac scored just 1:36 into the game to give the Devils a 1-0 lead. After Miller stopped Mike Mottau's shot, Zajac wristed in the rebound from the slot.

Stafford tied it just over 5 minutes later, redirecting Clarke MacArthur's pass from the outer edge of the left circle.

New Jersey regained its one-goal lead on Parise's team-leading 18th while the Devils enjoyed a two-man advantage. Parked to the left of Miller, Parise had his initial shot stopped before putting in the rebound at 11:44 of the first.

Salvador made it 3-1 at 10:52 of the second period after his shot from the middle of the blue line deflected off Gaustad's skate in the slot.

Kaleta cut it to 3-2 with his first of the season just 18 seconds later. He redirected Daniel Paille's pass from the left circle.

"We dug ourselves a hole early, and when you get behind on that team it obviously makes it even tougher," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said.

Notes: The Sabres played without captain Craig Rivet (shoulder) and rookie forward Nathan Gerbe (upper body). ... Buffalo C Derek Roy stretched his point streak to seven games with an assist on Stafford's goal. ... Kaleta returned after missing seven games with a head-neck injury. ... Elias has 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in 14 games. ... New Jersey had lost three straight games against Buffalo.

scoring summary
1st Period
Travis Zajac (8) ASST: Mike Mottau (6), Jamie Langenbrunner (14)
1 - 0 NJD
Drew Stafford (7) ASST: Clarke MacArthur (7), Derek Roy (17)
1 - 1 Tie
PPG - Zach Parise (18) ASST: Jamie Langenbrunner (15), Patrik Elias (18)
2 - 1 NJD
2nd Period
Bryce Salvador (2) ASST: Patrik Elias (19), Brian Gionta (19)
3 - 1 NJD
Patrick Kaleta (2) ASST: Daniel Paille (7), Jaroslav Spacek (15)
3 - 2 NJD
3rd Period
David Clarkson (6) ASST: NONE
4 - 2 NJD
Brian Rolston (2) ASST: David Clarkson (5)
5 - 2 NJD
Paul Gaustad (3) ASST: Jason Pominville (15), Jochen Hecht (8)
5 - 3 NJD
penalty summary
1st Period
Bobby Holik  Holding against  Patrick Kaleta
Clarke MacArthur  Cross checking against  Bobby Holik
Henrik Tallinder  Hooking against  Patrik Elias
Mike Rupp  Interference against  Patrick Kaleta
2nd Period
3rd Period
Colin White  Holding against  Adam Mair
Ales Kotalik  Tripping against  John Madden
Jochen Hecht  Slashing against  Colin White
Colin White  Interference against  Thomas Vanek
Paul Gaustad  Cross checking against  Paul Martin
Paul Martin  Cross checking against  Paul Gaustad
goalie stats
Scott Clemmensen
Scott Clemmensen
SA: 26TOI: 60:00
Saves: 23EV: 17 - 20
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 6
SV%: .885SH: 0 - 0
Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller
SA: 30TOI: 58:30
Saves: 25EV: 16 - 20
PIM: 0PP: 8 - 9
SV%: .833SH: 1 - 1