Nico Daws lifts Devils past Sabres in his NHL debut

Nico Daws made 24 saves in his NHL debut to help the New Jersey Devils to a 2-1 overtime win against the visiting Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

Pavel Zacha scored the game-winning goal and Nico Hischier tallied in regulation for the Devils.

Dylan Cozens scored and Dustin Tokarski made 37 saves for the Sabres, who have lost two in a row after winning their first three games of the season.

Cozens wired one from the top of the right circle on the power play to give Buffalo a 1-0 lead at 3:19 of the first period. It was only the second time through five games that the Sabres have scored the first goal.

The Devils thought they tied it at 4:07, but it was waved off, with the referee saying Tokarski’s pad was pushed into the net. The Devils challenged, but the call stood after video review.

The Sabres had several chances to double their lead, but Daws kept them at bay. Midway through the period, he made the initial save on a Kyle Okposo shot from the right circle. The rebound bounced out to Drake Caggiula on the left side and Daws was able to slide over in time to swallow the shot.

Late in the period, Cozens was alone in the slot but was denied by Daws.

The Devils pressured more in the second, spurred by a pair of consecutive power plays early in the period.

Tomas Tatar had one of New Jersey’s best chances nearly five minutes in, with a shot from the slot off a seam pass from Hischier that was stopped by Tokarski.

A wild sequence had Marian Studenic and Yegor Sharangovich each hit the post moments apart, prompting the goal horn to sound when it looked the puck had hit the inside of the net.

Caggiula was again denied on a breakaway near the midway mark of the period.

Hischier tied it 1-1 on the power play, when Dougie Hamilton’s point shot bounced off the end boards to the Devils captain at the side of the net at 5:52 of the third period.

Zacha scored at 3:09 of overtime from the left circle for the 2-1 final.