Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Devils Head to Bye Week with Victory

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Devils Head to Bye Week with Victory

Article excerpt

NEWARK - The Devils earned their rest.

Playing with intensity and, yes, a bit of desperation, the Devils went into their five-day bye week with a 2-1 win over the Sabres on Monday night at Prudential Center as they snapped a seven-game home losing streak.

Pavel Zacha scored the winner on the Devils' second power-play goal of the game, knocking in a loose puck from the slot at 12:33 of the third period, a goal which survived a coach's challenge as the Sabres' Dan Bylsma thought Adam Henrique interfered with Robin Lehner by hitting the goalie's glove with his stick.

Though the Devils (23-21-10) had struggled at home - they're still just 2-7-2 at The Rock since Dec. 31 - they collected seven of eight potential points coming out of their previous break for the All-Star weekend in Los Angeles. So they'll go into their in-season vacation - new to the NHL this season - just three points out of the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot.

When the Devils return, hosting the Sharks on Sunday afternoon, seven of their eight remaining games in February leading into the March 1 trade deadline will be at home. The lone "road" game is against the Islanders in Brooklyn.

Cory Schneider made 22 saves for the Devils while Lehner stopped 37 shots for the Sabres (21-21-10).

Devils coach John Hynes cited a "stronger commitment level from the forwards" in helping to create more chances around the crease for goals off rebounds or tips - for instance, Henrique's power- play goal - improved special teams play - again, for instance, Henrique and Zacha's power-play goals - and consistently being able to roll four lines and use all six defensemen.

Still, for the Devils' puck possession advantage, the Sabres were able to tie the game at 1 at 8:39 of the third period to spoil Schneider's bid for a third shutout this season.

Tyler Ennis, taking the puck deep into the Devils' zone, made a spin move and beat Schneider on a sharp-angle shot from the right that the goalie was seemingly not anticipating. …

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