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Buffalo's Thomas Vanek scores twice as Sabres beat Devils 4-2

NHL.com @NHL

NEWARK, N.J. - Thomas Vanek scored his NHL-leading 23rd and 24th goal to help the Buffalo Sabres beat the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night.

Derek Roy scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period, and Drew Stafford added a goal in the Sabres' fourth win in their last five games.

Patrick Lalime, making his first appearance in seven games, made 20 saves. Lalime improved to 2-4-1, ending a personal five-game winless streak.

Patrik Elias and Bobby Holik scored for New Jersey. The Devils had won four in a row and nine of their previous 10 games.

Vanek got Buffalo rolling 1:10 into the game, steering in the rebound of Jochen Hecht's backhander off Kevin Weekes' pads.

It was a milestone goal for Buffalo: the 10,000th in franchise history.

In the second, Elias and Holik scored for New Jersey before Stafford knotted the score at two.

After taking a drop pass from Brian Gionta, Elias beat Lalime from the left circle 58 seconds in. Holik put the Devils up 2-1 with his first goal of the season at 5:09. Holik was playing in his fourth game after missing 18 because of a broken pinkie.

The Sabres cashed in the first power play of the game as Stafford buried Nathan Gerbe's rebound at 11:05.

In the third, Roy put Buffalo ahead to stay with a 4-on-3 power-play goal from the bottom of the right circle at 8:43.

Vanek connected again at 12:54, and Lalime preserved the win in the closing minutes with saves on Jamie Langenbrunner and Brian Rolston.

It was the second game in two nights for both teams. Buffalo dropped a 2-1 home decision to Toronto on Friday night, and New Jersey beat the New York Rangers 8-5 at home after blowing a four-goal lead.

Notes: The game closed out a three-games-in-four-nights homestand for the Devils. They now hit the road to play Toronto on Tuesday night and Buffalo on Wednesday night. ... Travis Zajac was in the lineup for the Devils. He was considered doubtful after absorbing a big open-ice hit Friday from Rangers defenceman Dan Girardi. ... Weekes last played Nov. 21, a 5-2 win over the New York Islanders. Scott Clemmensen had gone 6-1 since then.

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