Series (Game 1 of 4)

New Jersey leads 3-0

Game 1: Friday, October 25th
Game 2: Tuesday, November 19th
Game 3: Tuesday, February 4th
Game 4: Sunday, April 6th

Devils 2

(5-1-0, 10 pts)

Sabres 1

(3-3-0, 7 pts)

7:00 PM ET, October 25, 2002

First Niagara Center, Buffalo, New York

1 2 3 T
NJ 1 0 12
BUF 0 1 01

M. Brodeur (Devils - G): Saves: 23, Save Pct.: .958

C. Brown (Sabres - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

B. Gionta (Devils - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

Daneyko's 255-game scoreless drought ends

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Finally, after more than three seasons, Ken Daneyko scored.

Ken Daneyko

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 surprise.

"I think it went through about 18 guys,'' said Biron, who finished with 25 saves. "I don't have any clue how it got through.''

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.''

Game notes

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.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press