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Devils get by Sabres in SO, 3-2

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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - David Clarkson and Patrik Elias scored in a shootout and the New Jersey Devils rallied from a late two-goal deficit to defeat the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 on Thursday night, snapping a season-high six game winless streak.

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Elias and Adam Henrique got the Devils to the overtime, scoring in the final 6 1/2 minutes, with Elias tying the game on a rebound with 66 seconds left in regulation.

Thomas Vanek and rookie Brian Flynn staked Buffalo to a 2-0 lead, with Vanek tallying his team-high 13th goal of the season on a second-period power play, and Flynn getting the first of his career midway through the third period.

Johan Hedberg made 23 saves and stopped both Sabres shootout attempts for New Jersey.

After Ilya Kovalchuk and Vanek missed on the first two shootout attempts, Clarkson made a nifty move to beat Ryan Miller with a backhander.

Pominville seemed to miss the net on the Sabres' second try and Elias deked Miller out of position for a tap-in game winner.

Miller was forced to end a rare night off when Sabres starter Jhonas Enroth hurt his right leg on Elias' tying goal.

The Sabres seemed in command until defenseman Christian Ehrhoff took a holding penalty with 7:24 to play in regulation.

Henrique got the Devils within a goal less than a minute later. His initial shot was blocked by defenseman Mike Weber. The shot stunned Weber and Henrique was able to get the loose puck and fire it past Enroth from the left circle.

Elias' tying goal seemed a little soft. Clarkson took a long shot from the left point seconds after Hedberg left for a sixth skater. Enroth kicked out a long rebound and Elias had a wide-open net.

Enroth lay prone on the ice after the play and had to be helped to the bench, dragging his right leg.

The overtime was exciting, with Miller stopping Devils defenseman Andy Greene in close with about a minute to go in the five-minute session and Pominville blasting a shot off the right post seconds later.

Vanek staked the Sabres to a 1-0 lead in the second period, converting a nice pass from Tyler Ennis on a power play.

Flynn got his first midway through the third period when defenseman Andrej Sekera's shot was blocked and went directly to the rookie playing in only his fourth game.

Enroth was outstanding in making his first start since Feb. 5. The 24-year-old who was only appearing in his fourth game this season was spectacular for the opening 40 minutes, stopping all 19 shots.

His best saves in the opening period were back-to-back stops on Henrique from low in the left circle and then a quick pad stop on Elias' uncontested rebound from point-blank range.

While Hedberg faced just 14 shots in the first two periods, he was back in form after a bad outing in a 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay on Tuesday - a game in which he was taken out after giving up three goals on 11 shots in 33 minutes.

The 39-year-old goaltender, who has started the last seven games with Martin Brodeur sidelined with a sore back, got a little lucky early when Cody Hodgson clanged one off the crossbar.

Hedberg, however, made a nice pad save on John Scott on a first-period counterattack, and a good skate save on Hodgson.

Enroth came up with his second great stop on a rebound attempt when he slid across the crease to stop Clarkson after making the initial save on Elias.

NOTES: The Devils made a number of lineup changes. Defensemen Henrik Tallinder (lower body) and Adam Larsson were scratched and Peter Harrold and Anton Volchenkov replaced them. It was Harrold's second game this season, while Volchenkov had been a healthy scratch for four straight. ... RW Tom Kostopoulos made his Devils debut after being claimed on waived from Pittsburgh. Sabres RW Patrick Kaleta served the second game in his 5-game suspension for boarding Rangers C Brad Richards. ... Buffalo C Jochen Hecht was scratched for the first time this season.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
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