Final OT

Series (Game 2 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

Sabres 3

(3-11-1, 10 pts)

Devils 4

(11-5-0, 22 pts)

7:30 PM ET, November 19, 2002

IZOD Center, East Rutherford, New Jersey

1 2 3 OT T
BUF 1 1 1 03
NJ 0 0 3 14

S. Niedermayer (Devils - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

J. Friesen (Devils - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

J. Dumont (Sabres - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Miller breaks down in third under pressure from Devils

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The New Jersey Devils needed more than two periods to figure out how to beat Buffalo Sabres rookie goaltender Ryan Miller.

Ryan Miller

The Devils finally broke through against the former Michigan State star with three goals in the third, setting the stage for Scott Niedermayer's game-winner Tuesday night.

Niedermayer scored 1:23 into overtime to give New Jersey a 4-3 victory that extended Buffalo's winless streak to 12 games. The Sabres' 0-9-2-1 skid equals the club record set in 1991.

On the game-winner, Brian Rafalski passed the puck to Niedermayer between the circles. His shot appeared to deflect off defenseman Alexei Zhitnik and Miller.

''It was exciting,'' Niedermayer said. ''I just jumped on the ice and followed the play up. Everybody crashed the net and Brian threw it out and I was able to put it in the net. The goalie was a little out of position and was racing back to the net.''

Miller, making his NHL debut, looked solid through the first two periods as the Sabres built a 2-0 lead in a strong bid to end the winless streak. But he struggled in the third period and overtime as the Devils applied relentless pressure.

''I got back up as quickly as I could,'' said Miller, who lunged out of position on Niedermayer's goal. ''The puck hit my pad and stick. He managed to go top shelf.''

Oleg Tverdovsky, John Madden and Jeff Friesen also scored for the Devils.

Curtis Brown, Chris Gratton and J.P. Dumont scored for Buffalo, which has not won since Oct. 22 against Philadelphia.

The Devils came roaring back in the third to take a 3-2 lead. Tverdovsky got a power-play goal at 2:52, and Madden scored the equalizer on a breakaway at 9:35.

Friesen gave New Jersey its first lead at 10:41 with a shot from the bottom of the left circle.

Dumont responded for Buffalo at 14:50 as he converted a backhand pass from Stu Barnes at 14:50 to send the game into overtime.

Brown and Gratton scored power-play goals to support their rookie goalie.

Miller, who passed up his senior year to sign with Buffalo, was recalled from Rochester of the AHL on Monday and thrust right into action.

Brown staked Miller to a 1-0 lead at 9:43 of the first period. With Colin White and Niedermayer both serving minor penalties, Brown tipped Miroslav Satan's point shot past Martin Brodeur.

Miller showed poise in the opening period. The lanky netminder made his first save 5 minutes into the game as gloved a blue-line shot from Madden. Miller made seven more stops in the period.

Gratton gave Miller some breathing room in the second with his team-leading eighth goal at 12:51. Gratton scored on a shot from the top of the right circle that appeared to graze Devils defenseman Scott Stevens on its way past Brodeur.

The Devils came away impressed by Miller's poise.

''He looked really sharp at the beginning of the game,'' Madden said. ''He wasn't sure of some things so he started coming out of his net really, really far. I think the defense did a good job hiding some of his deficiencies coming out of the net.''

Yet the Sabres are still searching for that elusive victory.

''We played a pretty sound game,'' Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. ''We didn't give up a lot and it's unfortunate.''

Game notes

With Miller getting the start, Mika Noronen was scratched and Martin Biron served as the backup. ... Winger Jamie Langenbrunner, the Devils' leading goal scorer, missed the game with a stomach virus. Craig Darby, recalled from Albany of the AHL, took his place in the lineup. ... Tverdovsky returned to action for New Jersey after missing one game with a sore back.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press