Erik Haula’s two goals lifts Devils to 5-4 win over Sabres

Newark, N.J. (AP) — Erik Haula delivered a dominant performance with two goals, while Vitek Vanecek showcased his goaltending skills by making 23 saves as the New Jersey Devils edged past the Buffalo Sabres 5-4 on Friday night.

Haula broke the tie with a crucial goal 14:17 into the third period, propelling New Jersey to victory. He also contributed with a short-handed goal in the second period.

Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt also found the back of the net for the Devils, securing their third win in four games. Luke Hughes played a vital role with two assists.

Buffalo had won two out of their last three games, including a 6-4 victory against Ottawa on Tuesday.

The Sabres’ goals were scored by Tage Thompson, Rasmus Dahlin, Dylan Cozens, and JJ Peterka. Unfortunately, this loss adds to their recent struggles against the Devils, winning only three of their last eleven encounters.

Eric Comrie made 16 saves for Buffalo before leaving the game in the second period due to a lower-body injury. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen replaced him and recorded 19 saves.

New Jersey took a 4-3 lead with a power-play goal from Jack Hughes just 2:09 into the third period. Jack Hughes has been on fire this season with five goals and 13 assists in seven games.

Cozens managed to tie the game at 4 with his third goal at 12:35 of the third period, extending his point streak to six games.

Haula opened the scoring for the Devils at 13:47 of the second period. He dashed past Luukkonen on a breakaway and cleverly flipped a backhand shot into the net.

Dahlin leveled the game at 3 at 17:32 of the second period, scoring his first goal of the season. Dahlin has an impressive seven-game point streak.

Both teams showcased their offensive prowess by scoring twice in a thrilling first period.

Peterka fired a powerful wrist shot high past Vanecek at 6:11, securing his third goal this season. Alexander Holtz quickly responded for New Jersey, tying the game at 7:41.

Thompson then gave the Sabres the lead again at 15:42, tapping the puck into the net during a goalmouth scramble for his fourth goal.

Bratt equalized once more at 16:11, stealing the puck from a Sabres defender and speeding in to beat Comrie for his fourth goal. Bratt currently ranks second on the Devils with 11 points.


Devils: The Devils will be hosting the Minnesota Wild on Sunday.

Sabres: The Sabres will have a home game against the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.


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