Bernier scores twice to help Devils top Sabres

Joe Yerdon  - Correspondent | Friday, 03.20.2015 / 11:30 PM

BUFFALO -- Steve Bernier hadn't scored a goal in 14 games. He ended his drought in a big way to help the New Jersey Devils win their third straight game.

Bernier scored twice in 4:45 in the second period, including a milestone goal, to lead the Devils to a 3-1 victory against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center on Friday.

New Jersey (31-29-11) is 10-3-2 in its past 15 games.

Bernier scored for the first time since Feb. 14 when he made it 1-0 at 9:08 of the second period on a 2-on-1 with Scott Gomez against Sabres defenseman Andre Benoit. Gomez sent a pass by a sprawled-out Benoit, and Bernier tapped it past Sabres goalie Anders Lindback.

"It's been 14 games but I thought we've been playing well," Bernier said. "I never worry about that stuff, but it's always nice to get one out of the way, for sure. But I think it was a great effort by everybody tonight."

Bernier scored his second of the game with 6:07 left in the second period. He put a rebound of an Adam Henrique shot from the side of the net past Lindback for his 12th goal of the season, the 100th of his career.

"He's been playing so well, I don't think we worry about scoring," Devils interim co-coach Lou Lamoriello said. "He's been playing consistently well all year. When you do the job he did, especially when you saw him in the second period, when he took the hit on the boards just to make the outlet pass, I mean, that's what he's been doing. To get him rewarded with goals is great."

Henrique, who has a four-game point streak (two goals, three assists), and Gomez each had two assists.

"I think the whole team had chances, but certainly [Gomez] made the plays that he can make," Lamoriello said. "He has that knack with that puck and he knows when to give it; a couple of great passes."

Jordin Tootoo gave the Devils a 3-0 lead with his ninth goal, his most since he scored 11 with the Nashville Predators in 2007-08. Tootoo broke into the Sabres zone and slid the puck ahead of Buffalo defenseman Mike Weber to get by him and took a wrist shot that beat Lindback low past his left pad.

"That was a great goal," Lamoriello said. "That's what he's been doing all year as far as just the way he exploded coming out of the zone. I think if you saw the bench, they were as excited as he was."

Buffalo (20-44-7) has won once in its past nine games (1-6-2).

Matt Moulson ended Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid's shutout bid with his 11th goal at 11:41 of the third period. Moulson put a rebound of a Tyler Ennis slap shot past Kinkaid, ending the Devils' shutout streak at 125:35.

"It's tough to get things going," Moulson said. "They really play a smart game and try to smother you in their own end and not give you much inside. I think that second period we got a bunch of chances. We didn't play well in the first at all, but we got a bunch of chances in the second and don't capitalize, and they come down and capitalize on theirs. In the NHL you've got to find ways to beat teams no matter how they play."

It was Kinkaid's first road win in the NHL.

"The time goes slow in the third period when you have the shutout," Kinkaid said. "I thought I had that one. I guess I saved it and it was right on the goal line, and Moulson put it in. I thought it was a good save and I ended up in the corner, basically."

New Jersey defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-0 on Tuesday. The Devils had not allowed a goal since Shane Doan scored for the Arizona Coyotes at 6:06 of the third period of New Jersey's 4-1 win last Saturday.

"I think our goaltending has been consistent the last 30 games," Lamoriello said. "I don't think that either one of them have had a night off with the way they've played."

Kinkaid made 28 saves, and Lindback 24.

It was the sixth time this season the Sabres outshot an opponent.

"They're kind of boring, they kind of lull you to sleep, or they try to, at least," Ennis said. "They kind of wait for a turnover. … We turned one over, and they got on the board."

Sabres forward Johan Larsson thought he scored 7:05 into the first period, but after video review, it was determined he directed the puck into the net with a distinct kicking motion on the rebound of Rasmus Ristolainen's shot.

"I saw the kicking motion; it was almost like a soccer kick," Kinkaid said. "Good thing we have video review and we bounced back after that."

Devils forward Mike Cammalleri missed the game with an illness. He was replaced in the lineup by Martin Havlat. Cammalleri left the Devils' morning skate early and was sent back to their hotel.

"After not playing the number of games, [Havlat] did an outstanding job going in there," Lamoriello said. "We've been very fortunate with our players who haven't been in the lineup; when they've gone in, they've done the job."

The Sabres recalled forward Mikhail Grigorenko on Friday and sent forward Tim Schaller and defenseman Chad Ruhwedel to Rochester of the American Hockey League. Grigorenko played 8:09, the least ice time of any player.

"Right now, guys are vying for jobs, and (we're) seeing how they respond," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. "You look at Larsson, he's made a good name for himself and really taken advantage of it. (Philip) Varone's doing it. Grigorenko, his first game here (since March 6), he has to learn how do that also."

Scoring Summary
1st Period
2nd Period
09:08NJD Steve Bernier (11) ASST: Scott Gomez (22), Adam Henrique (23) 1 - 0 NJD
13:53NJD Steve Bernier (12) ASST: Adam Henrique (24), Scott Gomez (23) 2 - 0 NJD
3rd Period
08:14NJD Jordin Tootoo (9) ASST: NONE 3 - 0 NJD
11:41BUF PPG - Matt Moulson (11) ASST: Tyler Ennis (21), Brian Gionta (15) 3 - 1 NJD
Three Stars of the Game
Steve Bernier
G: 2Shots: 4
A: 0Hits: 2
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 15:42
Keith Kinkaid
SA: 29TOI: 60:00
GA: 1EV: 24-24
PIM: 0PP: 4-5
SV%: .966SH: 0-0
Adam Henrique
G: 0Shots: 0
A: 2Hits: 1
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 15:20
Penalty Summary
1st Period
03:11NJD Damon Severson  Holding against  Marcus Foligno
19:35NJD Andy Greene  Hooking against  Tyler Ennis
2nd Period
3rd Period
10:43NJD Dainius Zubrus  Hooking against  Tyler Ennis
13:20BUF Johan Larsson  Too many men/ice - bench
14:50NJD Jacob Josefson  Hooking against  Marcus Foligno
18:16BUF Rasmus Ristolainen  Holding the stick against  Scott Gomez
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays0/21/4
Faceoff Wins2521
Blocked Shots1416
Penalty Minutes84
5A. LarssonD0011021:16
6A. GreeneD0013221:54
7J. MerrillD0012018:36
8D. ZubrusL0001215:54
9M. HavlatL0011014:23
10P. HarroldD0001012:32
11S. GiontaC0003015:51
14A. HenriqueL0220015:20
15T. RuutuL0000012:30
16J. JosefsonC0000214:15
17M. RyderR0001013:01
18S. BernierR2024015:42
19T. ZajacC0012017:11
20J. TootooR1012013:19
21S. GomezC0221015:43
22E. GelinasD0014018:00
28D. SeversonD0011218:52
32M. FraserD0010018:43
1K. Kinkaid2829.96660:00
6M. WeberD00-10021:04
12B. GiontaR01-15024:25
19C. HodgsonC00-12010:14
20Z. DalpeC000209:35
22J. LarssonL0005020:34
24T. StrachanD00-20015:18
25M. GrigorenkoC00-2008:09
26M. MoulsonL1001019:15
37M. EllisL000108:21
41A. MeszarosD0000020:36
44N. DeslauriersL00-20010:00
49J. D'AmigoR00-11011:36
51N. ZadorovD0001019:41
55R. RistolainenD00-15224:06
61A. BenoitD00-20014:19
63T. EnnisC0103019:55
82M. FolignoL00-12019:16
84P. VaroneC00-11019:52
35A. Lindback2427.88960:00