Historic victory streak over, Devils look to regroup vs. Sabres

Two days after their 13-game winning streak came to an end, the New Jersey Devils will look to get back to their winning ways when they face the Buffalo Sabers on Friday.

The Devils lost 2-1 to the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday, leaving New Jersey a win to set the franchise mark for consecutive wins. They settled for matching the 13-game unbeaten run of February and March 2001.

The Devils’ winning streak was four games away from tying the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 1993 NHL record.

New Jersey’s streak has propelled the Devils to the top of the Metropolitan Division.

The Devils’ streak did not end without controversy. New Jersey, trailing 2–0 after the first period, had three goals disallowed, the first two of which were taken off the board due to goaltender interference.

The third was disallowed after officials ruled that Erik Haula had kicked the puck into the net during a short chance in the third period, despite a Maple Leafs player’s puck being deflected before crossing the goal line.

Spectators showed their displeasure by littering the ice with debris, causing a brief game delay as the Maple Leafs retreated to their locker room for safety.

“Nobody’s feeling good. I’m not feeling good,” said Devils coach Lindy Ruff, whose team also had two shots on the goal post. “I don’t like the feeling. I don’t like losing; I know it’s been a while, but you don’t want that feeling. Now you have to get over that and prepare for your next game.”

Dougie Hamilton scored on assists from Yegor Sharangovich and Fabian Zetterlund to bring the Devils within 2-1 with 5:08 left. But the Devils couldn’t get the tying goal past Matt Murray, who finished with 34 saves.

Vitek Vanecek made 18 saves for the Devils, who outscored Toronto 35-20.

Buffalo opens its first meeting of the season with New Jersey after a 6-2 victory over a visiting St. Louis on Wednesday, its second consecutive victory after an eight-game losing streak.

The Sabers pulled away from a 1-1 tie by scoring three goals in the second period to take a 4-1 lead in the final period, where Jack Quinn scored twice to extend the lead to 6-1.

Jeff Skinner also scored twice, while Dylan Cozens and Victor Olofsson each added a goal. Alex Tuch added two assists and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 34 saves.

The Sabers were beaten by the Blues, but Buffalo converted two of their three man advantage opportunities as St. Louis went 1-for-3 on the power play.

The Sabers, who ended the Blues’ seven-game winning streak, have scored 13 goals in their last two games after beating Montreal 7-2 on Tuesday.

“It’s a tough league. It’s going to be tough some nights, and you’re going to go through different types of games, different kinds of adversity, and you just have to fight through that,” said Skinner, who has scored four goals. and seven points in the past two games. “Hopefully now we can keep this one rolling a little bit.”

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