December 3, 2019 / 3:04 AM / 12 days ago

Sabres explode with 5 in 1st, rout Devils 7-1

EditorsNote: Notes streak in graf 5 includes shootouts; other minor edits

Dec 2, 2019; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) makes his way to the ice before a game against the New Jersey Devils at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Jack Eichel’s goal less than three minutes after faceoff Monday night sparked a five-goal first period for the host Buffalo Sabres, who continued their dominance of the New Jersey Devils with a 7-1 rout.

Conor Sheary scored twice in the first for the Sabres, who led 5-0 after one and 6-0 fewer than five minutes into the second. Jeff Skinner and Rasmus Asplund added first-period goals before Victor Olofsson and Henri Jokiharju scored in the second.

The Sabres have beaten the Devils twice this season by a combined score of 14-3. Buffalo’s five-goal first period was its biggest outburst since it scored five against New Jersey in the second period of a 5-1 win on Jan. 8 of last season.

Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark made 44 saves.

Nico Hischier scored the lone goal for the Devils, who lost to the New York Rangers 4-0 Saturday and have given up 11 goals or more over a two-game span (including shootouts) five times this season. Goalie Louis Domingue was pulled after stopping just 10 of 15 shots in the first period. Mackenzie Blackwood made 15 saves the rest of the way.

The five goals allowed in the first were the most allowed by the Devils in a period since they allowed six to the Calgary Flames in the third period of a 9-4 loss on Mar. 12. New Jersey hadn’t given up five goals in the first period of a game since Feb. 8, 1993, when it surrendered five in the first period of an 8-5 loss to the Detroit Red Wings.

Eichel opened the scoring at 2:46, when Domingue slowed Eichel’s shot from point-blank range but could not stop the puck from trickling through. Skinner doubled the lead at the 4:59 mark when he picked up a loose puck in the Devils’ zone and beat Domingue on the breakaway.

Sheary extended the Sabres’ lead to 4-0 by scoring back-to-back goals less than 10 minutes apart. The left winger put back the rebound of a Skinner backhand at 6:57 before his shot from the faceoff circle clipped off the glove of Domingue and bounced into the net with 3:19 left.

Asplund made it 5-0 with a slap shot that sailed over Domingue’s glove with 58 seconds left in the period. Domingue snapped his stick over his knees as he skated off the ice following the buzzer.

Olofsson gave the Sabres a 6-0 lead by scoring 4:40 into the second. Hischier got the Devils on the board with a power-play goal at the 8:10 mark before Jokiharju scored on the power play less than four minutes later.

—Field Level Media

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