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  • Writer's pictureBrandon Caputo

Sabres prospects outduel Devils thanks to four different goal scorers

By: Brandon Caputo

(@BCaputo_AGM)

The Buffalo Sabres played their second game of the Prospects Challenge at Harborcenter on Saturday Night in front of a sold out downtown Buffalo crowd. Buffalo, coming off a 6-3 victory over Montreal in their opening contest, were facing longtime Sabres coach Lindy Ruff's New Jersey Devils squad.


Buffalo advanced to 2-0 in the tournament thanks to another strong goal output from four different goal scorers on route to a 4-2 victory over a feisty Devils squad, in what ended in a highly emotional physical contest.


Sabres Starting Lines:


FORWARDS

Isak ROSEN, Jiri KULICH, Olivier NADEAU

Zach BENSON, Matt SAVOIE, Filip CEDERQVIST

Aleksandr KISAKOV, Tyson KOZAK, Viktor NEUCHEV

Dominick MERSCH, Riley FIDDLER-SCHULTZ, Ethan MIEDEMA


DEFENSE

Mats LINDGREN, Zach METSA

Nicholas SAVOIE, Ryan JOHNSON

Norwin PANOCHA, Nikita NOVIKOV


GOALTENDING

Josh FLEMING

Scott RATZLAFF

 

The Sabres would open the scoring in front of a packed Harborcenter crowd as Viktor Neuchev would receive the pass from behind the net and bury it top shelf over the goaltender just before the five-minute mark of the first period.


Shortly after it is first round selection Zach Benson who took the pass along the left wing, cut in and fired it glove side to extend the Buffalo lead. Later in the period Filip Cederqvist would put a nice move on the defender before taking a wrist shot that was nicely gloved by Poulter to keep the Sabres from going up by a trio of goals for the time being, going into the first intermission.


Early in the middle period it was Engaras who cut in on a breakaway but Josh Fleming stayed with him the whole way to keep the Devils off the board. The Devils would finally get on the board halfway through the contest as a scramble in front of Fleming resulted in a trio of rebound chances finally potted in by Friedman.


Late in the middle period, it was Isak Rosen who received the pass and went in tight on Poulter; beating him short side to extend the Sabres lead to a pair once again, finishing off a nice passing play in transition. Buffalo would lead the contest by a pair going into the final period of play.


Just before the midway point of the final frame it was Jiri Kulich who would take the pass from Nadeau, go to the backhand and squeaked one past Poulter to extend the Buffalo lead to three.


A flurry of penalties on both sides resulted in a Devils 5on3 advantage but Fleming and the penalty killers did a nice job of not allowing New Jersey any high danger scoring chances. The Devils would be awarded another late powerplay due to a Sabres tripping penalty and would pull their goaltender with three minutes left in regulation.


The Devils put one in late with the goaltender pulled thanks to Brian Halonen but it was not enough. A few scrums at the end of regulation, resulted in some bad blood as the clock expired with both teams showing high emotion and compete right to the final buzzer. Fleming got a well-earned strong victory as both Sabres goaltenders have picked up victories.


Buffalo will be back on Monday Night at 5pm to finish out their tournament against the Pittsburgh Penguins.


J&L Flooring Player of the Game: Isak Rosen


1-0 NEUCHEV - Asst: Kozak N. Savoie

2-0 BENSON - Asst: N. Savoie

2-1 FRIEDMAN - Asst: Isley

3-1 ROSEN - Asst: Panocha

4-1 KULICH - Asst: Nadeau, Novikov

4-2 HALONEN

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