After stealing a win on Monday night over the Detroit Red Wings, the Buffalo Sabres were back at it on Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils at the First Niagara Center.
Tuesday’s game was the first game of a three-game home-stand for the Sabres, with the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks paying visits to Buffalo later in the week.
Going into the game, Sabres forward, Cal O’Reilly was inserted into the lineup for the first time this season over Marcus Foligno. It was the first regulation game that Cal and his brother, Ryan played with each other on the ice in the same game. However, O’Reilly would play on a line with Nic Deslauriers and David Legwand.
In the first period, neither team was able to find the scoreboard, but the Devils outshot the Sabres 9-6.
The second period looked to be heading the same route as the first period, but West Seneca native, Lee Stempniak put the Devils up 1-0 with 2:33 left to go in the period. Stempniak was able to gobble up a rebound chance in front of the net, uncontested by any Buffalo player. New Jersey would head into the period with the lead, and ahead in shots once again with 17 over Buffalo’s 13.
In the third period, the Sabres would put up some good pressure, registering 12 shots on goal against New Jersey’s four. However, the only goal in the period coming off the stick of New Jersey’s Jiri Tlusty.
Cory Schneider would end up with a 25-save shut-out for the Devils to topple the Sabres on the road.
Here are some of the main headlines from Tuesday night’s loss:
- O’Reilly’s point streak over
All good things must come to an end eventually, and for Ryan O’Reilly it was his consecutive point streak.
Heading into Tuesday’s game, O’Reilly had four goals and seven assists over a span of eight straight games. Devils goalie, Cory Schneider ruined it for O’Reilly, not allowing anyone on the Sabres to find the back of the net.
O’Reilly finished the game with just one shot, a minus-2 rating, but was 77-percent on his faceoffs on 21:11 of total ice-time.
Time for O’Reilly to start over now. Thanks for nothing, Cory.
- Reinhart playing his best hockey
Sam Reinhart may not have found the scoreboard, but was arguably Buffalo’s best player on the ice.
Reinhart finished the game with a minus-1 rating, but put up three shots on goal in 18:55 of total ice-time. More importantly, Reinhart was making plays with the puck, his puck pursuit was very good, and skated at an all-pro level.
With Reinhart’s level of play continuing to get better, expect his ice-time to continue to rise and his situational play to increase as well. The 20-year old rookie certainly deserves the praise for his play and effort on the ice.
Looks like O’Reilly’s influence is rubbing off on him.
- Ullmark strong in net once again
While it did not look like a good night for Ullmark in the net, he was not helped out by his teammates on both goals given up.
On New Jersey’s first goal, Stempniak was able to get to the net and cash in on a rebound chance. Neither Zach Bogosian nor Jake McCabe took Stempniak into consideration, and he was able to split the two of them and get his eighth goal of the year.
On the second goal, Buffalo was unable to clear the defensive zone, and Tlusty laid into a bouncing puck that got through Ullmark on the glove side.
Ullmark made some remarkable saves throughout the course of the game, as he has done throughout his first professional season in North America. But he needs to get the support around him in order to keep the Sabres in games such as this.
Ullmark is likely bound for the Rochester Americans when Robin Lehner returns from his ankle injury, but it will be a boost for him in the end. Ullmark has gotten some quality ice-time with the Sabres, and now he can work on his game at the AHL level, which he should be well adjusted to after his time in the NHL.
- The Devils still a boring hockey team
.@NHLDevils Can you stop being boring?
— TJ (In The Hunt) (@SteadyRiot) December 16, 2015
This game was, how do you call it, a snooze to watch. But what is new when the Devils come to town to play the Sabres? Even though… Lou Lamoriello… Is gone… This team… This game…