Cory Schneider overcame an embarrassing early, bad-hop goal from center ice, made 45 saves and got the benefit of having a game-tying, third-period tally nullified for goaltender interference in leading the New Jersey Devils to a 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night.
Blake Coleman and Pavel Zacha scored power-play goals as New Jersey won its second straight and for the fourth time in 14 games (4-9-1). Miles Wood added an empty-net goal on a length-of-the-ice shot.
Sam Reinhart scored his 20th of the season for the Sabres and had his 21st taken away by a Devils’ challenge. Linus Ullmark made 18 saves as the Sabres fell to 1-9-1 in their last 11.
Schneider was the difference in the game, especially in the final two periods when Buffalo outshot New Jersey 36-10.
The turning point came with 13:36 left in the third period, seconds after Reinhart put the rebound of a Jeff Skinner shot into an open net with Schneider on the ice. The Devils didn’t take long to challenge, contending Evan Rodrigues interfered with Schneider, although it seemed New Jersey defenseman Andy Greene was battling with the Buffalo center in the crease. After watching replays, the challenge stood and the goal was disallowed.
Schneider didn’t stop there. He stopped Skinner on a breakaway two minutes later, and also had a great stop on Tage Thompson on a blast with 2:34 to go.
Zacha had broken a 1-all tie at 4:25 of the third period with a shot from the left circle past a screened Ullmark.
The Devils scored on their first shot of the game. With No.1 overall draft pick Rasmus Dahlin off for holding, Coleman took a pass in the corner from Nico Hischier, last year’s No. 1, and came out of the corner and beat Ullmark in close at 1:55.
Reinhart tied the score with a goal that stunned the crowd at 7:23. The Buffalo forward flipped the puck from center ice toward Schneider and it took a bad bounce past the embarrassed goaltender.
NOTES: Less than 48 hours after sending F Joey Anderson to Binghamton (AHL), the Devils recalled him. He didn’t play. … Sabres recalled D Lawrence Pilut from Rochester (AHL) on Sunday. … Sabres rookie C Casey Mittelstadt, the eighth pick in the draft, was a healthy scratch. … The Devils were 0 for 13 on the power play in the last five games. … Reinhart’s 20 goals are five shy of his career best set last season.
Sabres: At Ottawa on Tuesday night.
Devils: At Detroit on Friday night.