Tonawanda News — NEWARK, N.J. — Facing the prospect of their first seven-game slide since 1986, Devils coach Peter DeBoer talked about character and perseverance following the team’s morning skate for their game with the Buffalo Sabres.
New Jersey showed it had both qualities Thursday night, rallying from a late two-goal deficit and getting shootout goals from David Clarkson and Patrik Elias in posting a 3-2 over the Sabres and snapping an 0-5-1 slide.
“I’m glad we stuck with it and got the goals,” said Elias, whose first word to the media was ‘finally.’
“We just had to keep working through this. It was a huge win, obviously. After losing six games in a row, we didn’t know. We had three or four of those games we could have won and didn’t find a way. Hopefully, this will turn us around and jump-start us a little.”
For 53 minutes, the Devils seemed well on the road to a seventh straight loss. They fell behind 2-0 midway through the third period, and the way Sabres starting goaltender Jhonas Enroth was playing, things didn’t look promising.
“I think we were due for a bounce,” said DeBoer, who felt his team never deviated from the game plan even after falling behind by two goals. “That’s the bottom line. We’ve been working here for a week or two and played some pretty good hockey and haven’t got it (a bounce), and we got it tonight.”
Adam Henrique started the comeback with a goal a little less than a minute after Buffalo defenseman Christian Erhoff was called for holding . Henrique’s initial shot was blocked by defenseman Mike Weber. The shot stunned Weber and Henrique was able to get the loose puck and fire it past Enroth from the left circle.
Elias’ tying goal seemed a little soft. Clarkson took a long shot from the left point seconds after embattled Devils goaltender Johan Hedberg left for a sixth skater. Enroth kicked out a long rebound and Elias had a wide-open net with 66 seconds to play in regulation.