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Sabres, Devils meet after ending losing streaks

by Mike G. Morreale

SABRES (6-20-1) at DEVILS (10-11-5)


Last 10: Buffalo 3-7-0; New Jersey 6-4-0

Season series: The first of three games. The New Jersey Devils won two of the three last season, which all required a shootout.

Big story: Each team is coming off a victory Friday. The Buffalo Sabres snapped a five-game losing streak with a 3-2 overtime win against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Devils ended a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Christian Ehrhoff scored 38 seconds into overtime for the Sabres at First Niagara Center. The Devils scored four times in the third period to overcome a 2-1 deficit at PNC Arena, giving goalie Cory Schneider (16 saves) his second straight victory in his first start since Nov. 21.

"I liked our game right from the drop of the puck,'' Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. ''I thought we had good energy, good legs. We created a lot of things. ... We found our game again in the third.''

Team Scope:

Sabres: Forward Matt D'Agostini, claimed off waivers by the Sabres from the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday, made his debut for the team Friday. The 27-year-old scored 21 goals for the St. Louis Blues in 2010-11 but has 12 goals in 93 games since. D'Agostini, who played on the second line with center Ville Leino and Sabres captain Steve Ott, had three shots on goal and a plus-1 rating in 15:39 of ice time.

"To get a guy like him, it's fortunate for us and we'll see if we can get his career back going," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. "When you get a goal-scorer, you've got to put him in position to score some goals. Hopefully that will help."

The Sabres average an NHL-low 1.67 goals per game and are second to last with 25.5 shots per game. The Devils average the fewest shots (25.0).

Devils: Defenseman Anton Volchenkov returned to the lineup Friday after missing seven games with a leg muscle pull and finished with five blocked shots, five hits and a plus-2 rating in 19:11 of ice time. Jaromir Jagr's third-period goal tied Steve Yzerman with 692 career goals for eighth place in NHL history. Jagr is two goals behind Mark Messier (694) for seventh place. Jagr, who had a goal and two assists, leads the Devils in goals (11), assists (11), points (22) and game-winners (three).

Who's hot: Matt Moulson has four goals and 11 points in 14 games since joining the Sabres via a trade from the New York Islanders on Oct. 27. … Devils defenseman Andy Greene has points in four straight games (one goal, four assists) and two goals and nine points in the past 11 games.

Injury report: Buffalo forward Cody McCormick (undisclosed) could return Saturday. … Devils forward Stephen Gionta (ankle) is on injured reserve, defenseman Adam Larsson (lower body) is questionable, and forward Ryane Clowe (head) and defenseman Bryce Salvador (foot) are doubtful.

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