Tonight’s opponent is the New Jersey Devils, and it will be the first game with Ted Nolan as the official head coach of the Sabres, not the interim head coach.
While the Buffalo Sabres are planning for the future, the New Jersey Devils are going to have a major change in their future as well. Long time goaltender Martin Brodeur will be testing the free agent market and looking to extend his already Hall of Fame worthy career. Is he holding on to long – should he just let the game go and pass on the torch to another class of goaltenders?
The New Jersey Devils need to come into tonight’s matchup fearing the Buffalo Sabres. Finally getting some rest after the epic bad road trip that led them across the country – they could be primed to play the role of spoiler in their remaining games. New Jersey is in desperate need of points. With only seven games remaining on their schedule, they are just three points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Devils have split the series so far with the Buffalo Sabres, winning the first game in a 0-0 stalemate, relying on a 1-0 overtime victory in the first meeting. The Sabres beat the Devils in the only other meeting to also take place at the First Niagara Center.
The Devils come into Buffalo on a four game point streak, winning two and picking up points in losing efforts in the other two contests. While the Columbus Blue Jackets have a game in hand over the Devils, they are still catchable. The Devils will no doubt be watching the scoreboard tonight as well, as the Blue Jackets face off against the Colorado Avalanche.
The biggest story in New Jersey right now is the future of Martin Brodeur. After getting pulled early in the second period after letting in three goals on nine shots – the second time he was pulled this year in favor of Schneider – the team will want to go with the goalie that is going to give them the best chance at making the playoffs.
If the Devils get into the playoffs does Martin Brodeur have enough magic left to make one more run for the Stanley Cup?