Sabres strike for five goals in second, rout Devils

Buffalo Sabres

After getting blanked in the first period by New Jersey, Buffalo erupted for five goals in the second to take a 5-1 lead and never looked back in a 5-1 win Tuesday night.

The offensive surge is ties the mark set for in 2009, when the Sabres also tallied five goals in a period against the Hurricanes.

14 players also recorded a point during the period, tying a franchise record for most players with a point in a period.

“All four lines contributing, a lot of O-Zone chances, it could have been ever more in the second,” winger Evan Rodrigues said after the game.  “That’s what happens when you rolling your shifts over in the o-zone. In the past games, we’ve had our chances but we haven’t had sustained pressure like we had today.”

“This team is very good in the neutral zone in their checking. It was just a straight line, go North mindset tonight,” added Head Coach Phil Housley.  “I think our guys really did a good job of that, just managing that area when we did get pucks behind them, everybody was getting up the ice, even our D to slam the walls to keep pucks in the offensive zone. Simplicity in our game was really important tonight.”

Jeff Skinner started the offensive outburst, sending his 29th goal over the shoulder of Keith Kinkaid to tie the game at one.

CJ Smith added his first career tally less than three minutes later and was followed by Casey Mittelstadt, Jake McCabe and Lawrence Pilut, who also scored his first career NHL goal, in the offensive outburst.

“We came out and just played a simple game,” said Smith after the game.  “After (Skinner) scored that first one there in the second, it seemed like pucks started going in for us. It was a really good second period and it felt good to get rolling there.”

Mittelstadt showed off his play making ability to snap a 10-game goalless streak.

Denied on his first shot, Mittelstadt stuck with the play and eventually pounded the puck past Kinkaid to give the Blue & Gold a two goal lead.

As the Devils looked to turn the tide and make a push on the man advantage, Rodrigues and McCabe started up the ice on a two-on-one.  As the defenders crashed toward the Rodrigues and Kinkaid slid across the crease, the centerman feathered the puck to McCabe who buried his third goal of the season into the open cage to make it a 4-1 game.

Carter Hutton stopped 20 of the 21 shots he faced to pickup his 14th win of the season.

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