Amid a dismal season, the only sustained success the Buffalo Sabres have enjoyed has come against the New Jersey Devils.
Looking to extend their points streak to a season-high six games, the host Sabres will try for a second victory in three days over the struggling Devils on Thursday night.
Since its shootout-era-record 18-game winless stretch (0-15-3), Buffalo is 3-0-1. The Sabres also have earned at least one point in five consecutive games. Down a goal late in the second period Tuesday against New Jersey, the Sabres scored three unanswered goals to pull out a 5-3 victory.
“Obviously, it’s been documented pretty well we had a tough stretch there, but it’s good to get rewarded,” Sabres forward Casey Mittelstadt, who scored the go-ahead goal Tuesday and has three goals with two assists in the past four games, told the official website of the NHL.
“It’s good to have the guys have smiles on their faces. See guys having fun. We have to remember the feeling and keep going.”
The Sabres have had plenty to smile about while posting a 4-2-1 mark vs. New Jersey this season. The Devils are the only East Division team against whom Buffalo has a winning record.
Mittelstadt has four points in his past three games against the Devils, while defenseman Rasmus Dahlin has two goals and five assists against vs. New Jersey this season.
New Jersey, which is in an 0-2-2 rut, has yielded five goals in three of its past four games.
“We need to be better as a group,” Devils forward Jesper Bratt, who has a goal in two straight games and 11 points in his past 12 contests, told NHL.com. “It’s a hard division and you’ve got to compete. I think we have another gear, and we need to get it fixed up for the next game.”
New Jersey goalie Scott Wedgewood allowed four goals for a second straight start Tuesday and has given up seven in two outings vs. Buffalo this season.
Devils forward and Buffalo native Miles Wood has four of his team-leading 11 goals against the Sabres this season.