's magical return to the NHL continued Wednesday night.
The 35-year-old, who played overseas last season, scored twice and Martin Brodeur
made 22 saves and also added an assist as the New Jersey Devils
earned a 3-1 victory against the Buffalo Sabres
at the Prudential Center.
also scored for the Devils, who built a 3-0 lead in the second period. Patrik Elias
assisted on both of Sykora's tallies.
"He should have had five," Parise said of Sykora. "It was one of those nights where the puck was following him all over."
scored for Buffalo, which received 20 saves from Ryan Miller
Sykora opened the scoring with his ninth of the season at 9:52 of the first period. Brodeur sprung Sykora and Elias with a clearing pass up the middle. The veteran forwards weaved through the neutral zone before Elias dropped a pass between his legs for Sykora, who sent a soft shot that rolled in under Miller's pads.
"(I) looked for him to shoot through (defenseman) Robyn (Regehr)," Miller said. "He shot around him."
Sykora snapped a wrist shot over Miller's glove 1:26 into the second period to double the Devils' lead. Dainius Zubrus
forced a turnover, and Elias set up Sykora for a one-timer with a perfect pass.
New Jersey signed Sykora to a one-year, $650,000 contract after he made the team following a training camp tryout. His 10 goals are tied with linemate Zubrus and rookie Adam Henrique
for fourth on the team.
"I'm getting a chance to play with great players -- Patty and Zubie most games. Each guy brings something different," Sykora said. "Once in a while, you're going to have a game like this."
"He played well," Brodeur said of Sykora, with whom he won the Stanley Cup in 2000. "We brought him in to make a difference offensively. That was what the team was looking for."
appeared to cut the Sabres' deficit to 2-1 with a deflection at 5:28 of the second but the goal was disallowed after a video review showed that Adam struck the puck while his stick was above the crossbar.
"Thought it was good," Adam said. "Thought it was on its way down. It was a bit of a bad angle."
Parise made it 3-0 at 6:55 when he tipped in Mark Fayne
's point. Vanek scored Buffalo's lone goal 1:14 later, his ninth point in six games.
The bad blood between the teams grew as the game progressed, and tempers flared midway through the second period. Buffalo's Paul Gaustad
and Patrick Kaleta
, New Jersey's Cam Janssen
and Bryce Salvador
were given 10-minute misconducts. Devils forward Eric Boulton
received minor penalties for boarding and roughing, and Sabres center Cody McCormick
was given a penalty for roughing.
The Sabres and New Jersey both had 23 shots on goal and neither connected on the power play. The Devils were 0 for 3 with the advantage, and the Sabres went 0 for 2.
"We just didn't finish," Vanek said.
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report