Make that two in a row for the New Jersey Devils!
After a huge come-from-behind victory against the Minnesota Wild on Friday night, the Devils continued their winning ways with a 4-1 victory against the visiting Buffalo Sabres. Kyle Palmieri had a three point night, Travis Zajac and Andy Greene contributed a two-point evening and Cory Schneider picked up his second win in as many games.
Here are 10 Takeaways from the game:
1. Cory Schneider backstopped the Devils against the Sabres, fresh off his first win of the season that ended a winless drought dating back to last season. For Schneider, he earned the victory making 34 saves on 35 shots, including a couple acrobatic saves that had the crowd chanting "Co-ry! Co-ry!" from the stands.
For Schneider, this was the first time he has won back-to-back regular season games since December 23rd, 2017 against Chicago and December 27th, 2017 against Detroit as he continues to return to form and put a difficult stretch behind him.
2. It would be the fight that never happened. During warmups, there was certainly some jawing between New Jersey's Kurtis Gabriel and Buffalo's Zach Bogosian. Both players had words for each other and center ice, Bogosian even slightly crossing the center ice line onto Devils territory. And while we can't quite know what was said, there was a moment where New Jersey's Drew Stafford skated between the two players to break up their jawing.
Neither would drop the gloves during the matchup.
3. The first period between the Devils and Sabres was a pretty even draw. The period ended with a 0-0 stalemate, and Buffalo leading by just a single shot on goal - out shooting New Jersey 12-11. Both teams had a crack at a power play opportunity, neither producing any offense and if that wasn't even enough a period, both teams blocked four shots a piece. The discrepancy in the period came at the faceoff dot, where the Devils struggled to find their groove, winning just 21 percent of the draws. Travis Zajac and Kevin Rooney lead the way in faceoff success in the first period, Zajac going 2-for-8 (25%) and Rooney going 1-for-1 (100%).
4. Both the puck and Miles Wood ended up in the back of the Sabres net at 7:25 of the second period to give New Jersey a 1-0 lead and opened the evenings scoring.
Wood accepted a cross-ice pass from Palmieri and Wood being who he just naturally is, couldn't quite stop his fast stride in time. Wood did have the presence of mind however to contort himself to make sure the puck cleanly crossed the line before he went barraging into it himself for a good goal. Wood's sixth of the season was assisted on by Palmieri and Zajac.
5. The lead would extend for the Devils when Jesper Bratt finished off a slick passing sequence between Palmieri and Damon Severson on the power play. Bratt fired a one-timer past Buffalo netminder Carter Hutton after Palmieri and Severson exchanged several passes to open up Bratt's shooting lane. Also on the ice was Marcus Johansson who parked himself in front of Hutton to create the screen.
The Devils took a 2-0 lead at 13:38 of the middle frame with Palmieri and Severson credited in assisting the play.
6. For Bratt, the goal was his eight point in his past eight games, with two goals and six assists. He currently has 28 points in 45 games this season. Last season, in 74 games Bratt had 35 points in his rookie season with 13 goals and 22 assists.
7. Palmieri wasn't quite satisfied with just two assists against the Sabres. He would restore the Devils two-goal lead at 14:09 of the third period after Buffalo cut New Jersey's lead to 2-1 to end the second period.
Palmieri came rushing down the wing with the puck on his stick and just ripped a shot off short-side on Hutton that was in the net in a blink of an eye. The goal was Palmieri's 26th of the season and his third goal in four games. Zajac and Andy Greene added the assists.
8. Joey Anderson made the decision to take a shot at an empty net while the Devils were on a late-game penalty kill. The Sabres pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker with just over three minutes to play in the game, Buffalo with a two-man advantage without Hutton in net. But it was New Jersey's Anderson who would have the last laugh, scooping up the puck at the blue line and firing the clearing attempt at the net which landed square in the middle.The shorthanded empty-netter was the second career NHL goal for Anderson and was assisted on by Greene, who finished the night with two assists.
9. Sunday's game against the Sabres was brought to you by the number '20'. Palmieri, Zajac and Severson all picked up their 20th assists of the season with helpers in the second period. For Palmieri, he improved to 21 assists with two in the second frame. Zajac would add his second assist of the game in the third period to bring him up to 21 this season as well. Palmieri's goal and two assists gives him 47 points this season and puts him on pace for a career high 65 if he continues to produce at the same rate. Palmieri's previous high was 57 back in the 2015-16 NHL season.
10. With their win against the Sabres, and their win a game prior to the Wild, the Devils have strung together two consecutive victories for the first time since January 12-14, 2019 in games against Philadelphia and Chicago.
11. The team's helmet, that is given out to an unsung hero of the game, was presented to the captain tonight.