Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Devils Lose Lead, Game, Win Streak

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Devils Lose Lead, Game, Win Streak

Article excerpt

NEWARK – The Devils had a clean sweep of their season-high six-game homestand in sight. But in one of their more disappointing losses of the season, they couldn't complete the task.

The Sabres, battling back from a two-goal deficit in the second period, completed their comeback with a 4-3 overtime win over the Devils on Friday night at Prudential Center.

Rasmus Ristolainen finally ended a back-and-forth overtime which included excellent chances for both teams with the winner at 2:37.

The Devils were bidding for their first six-game winning streak since March 27-April 7, 2012.

Still, the Devils (22-9-6), remain in first place in the Metropolitan Division and are 6-0-2 as goalie Cory Schneider (25 saves) made his season-high eighth straight start.

Robin Lehner stopped 36 shots for the Sabres (10-19-8), who snapped a two-game losing streak heading into Monday's Winter Classic against the "visiting" Rangers at Citi Field.

The Devils have not made the playoffs since 2012 but center Travis Zajac, with the Devils since 2006, said this season is starting to feel like the early portion of his career. The Devils missed the playoffs just three times between 1988-2012.

"It's a feeling," Zajac said. "When me and [captain Andy Greene] first came here, it was a winning culture. You come in and you knew you were making the playoffs. Nobody even talked about it because it was just embedded in the culture. You knew it in games. You knew it throughout the season. You didn't have that panic or that nervousness set in at all because you trusted the players. You trusted the system. You just knew the culture would override any negative things that happened during the season."

"It's that winning culture we're still trying to build but it's definitely starting to creep back in," Zajac added.

The Sabres tied the game at 3 on Jack Eichel's second goal of the game, this one on the power play, at 11:04. …

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