BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Finally, after more than three seasons,
Ken Daneyko scored.
The New Jersey defenseman ended his NHL-record streak without a
goal at 255 games, scoring in the first period and helping the
Devils beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 Friday night.
"I've told the guys many times that I don't know how to
celebrate a goal,'' said Daneyko, whose previous goal came against
Vancouver on Feb. 9, 1999. "It's something I don't do too often,
so yeah, I was surprised to see it go in.
"But I did get the puck for my son because it's probably the
last one I'll ever score.''
Daneyko's goal backed the goaltending of Martin Brodeur, who
made 23 saves for his league-leading fifth win.
Daneyko's goal came at 17:07 of the first period, with Brodeur
pulled for an extra attacker on a delayed Buffalo penalty. Daneyko
took a feed from Oleg Tverdovsky and sent a slap shot from the top
of the faceoff circle that caught a screened Martin Biron by
"I think it went through about 18 guys,'' said Biron, who
finished with 25 saves. "I don't have any clue how it got
Sergei Brylin scored the winner for New Jersey a minute into the
final period. Buffalo had just returned to full strength when
Brylin tipped Brian Rafalski's perfect pass from the side boards
over Biron's shoulder for his third goal of the season.
The win was the Devils' (5-1-0-0) fifth one-goal victory.
"We'd love to have a little more offense, get more goals,''
Brodeur said. "This is the way we're winning hockey games now.
When you're winning, you can't complain too much.''
New Jersey coach Pat Burns might differ.
"It may good for the players, but not for me,'' he joked.
Brodeur was at his acrobatic best as the Sabres' buzzed the New
Jersey zone for much off the third period, including two key saves
on Jochen Hecht during an early Buffalo power play.
Some hard work in the offensive zone led to Stu Barnes scoring
Buffalo's only goal at 5:56 of the second period.
Alexei Zhitnik started the play by keeping the loose puck at the
blue line. Vaclav Varada dug the puck from the corner and passed to
Curtis Brown in the slot. Brodeur made a great toe save on Brown's
shot, but Barnes was parked on the doorstep to bat the rebound out
of the air.
For Buffalo, it was a disappointing end to a four-game
homestand. The Sabres finished 1-2-1, including a 3-2 loss to
Phoenix last Saturday.
"We got off to a great start and then stumbled a little,''
Barnes said. "We had a letdown tonight. We didn't play the way we
wanted to. But New Jersey is a very patient team that waits for
mistakes and takes advantage of them.''
With Hecht returning to the lineup after missing two games
with a bruised knee, Buffalo reassigned F Denis Hamel to AHL
Rochester. ... Buffalo leads the all-time series 57-29-15. ...
Buffalo's D Brian Campbell and D Dmitri Kalinin were healthy
scratches for the seventh straight game.