Kovalchuk Curse Continues as Devils lose to Sabres, 5-4
New York, NY - The New Jersey Devils (4-10-2) were one goal away in the shootout frame from a long awaited victory, but ultimately fell short to the Buffalo Sabres (5-9-2) in hockey action on Wednesday night. Buffalo head coach Lindy Ruff who was participating in his 1,000th game was on hand to witness an interesting game at “The Rock.”
Both the Devils and the Sabres have struggled scoring goals early on this season had no problem on Wednesday night as the two teams were tied at 4-4 going into the shootout frame. Devils Captain Jamie Langenbrunner forced the extra round in that frame and passed the baton to New Jersey’s reigning million dollar man Ilya Kovalchuk.
The winger who went up the ice with confidence with the puck trying to display his usual flashy puck handling skills, lost the puck and the game for the Devils. Just after losing the puck Kovalchuk dropped his head in agony as it just seems there is a black cloud hanging over his head since the signing of his long term deal over the summer.
Buffalo eventually got the game-winning goal on a beautiful backhanded goal by Derek Roy, who beat Devils keeper Johan Hedberg, who was so solid in the cage for the Devils stopping 38 pucks and keeping New Jersey in it. Buffalo keeper Jhonas Enroth also played well, stepping up for injured keeper Brian Miller. Enroth made 28 saves in the victory for Buffalo.
Langenbrunner who scored twice in the game for the Devils, once in regulation and the second to force the extra shootout frame wasn’t the only offensive hero for New Jersey. Jason Arnott also scored twice, David Clarkson also tallied a goal as well. This offensive barrage is a good sign for a team that hadn’t scored that many goals.
Normally though most Devils teams are built around defense and that was something that was lacking in Wednesday night’s game. As Buffalo also found the back of the net four times with Roy scoring twice, once in regulation along with the eventual game-winner along with goals from Jason Pominville, Tyler Myers and Tyler Ennis helped to lead the squad to the eventual victory.
The Devils who are 0-5-2 at “The Rock” will hope to notch their first victory on Friday. It will be an interesting test as they have a 7:00 p.m. face-off with the Edmonton Oilers.