The Buffalo Sabres failed to put together their second three-game winning streak of the season as they fell to the New Jersey Devils, 2-0, Tuesday night in First Niagara Center.
The Sabres had posted 2-1 victories over Los Angeles and Detroit in their previous two outings, games that saw them rally after giving up the first goal.
They fell behing again Tuesday but couldn't rally in suffering their first home shutout loss of the season.
It was also their second home loss of the season to the Devils, who posted a 4-3 win here on Oct. 24. The teams meet one more time, April 5 in Newark.
- Game feature by Mike Harrington: Devils lull Sabres, fans to sleep in 2-0 victory
- Sabres notebook by John Vogl: West Seneca’s Stempniak an NHL survivor
- Photo gallery by Mark Mulville: Devils 2, Sabres 0
Local boy makes good: West Seneca native Lee Stempniak put the Devils ahead by opening the scoring at 17:27 of the second period, driving home Mike Cammalleri's rebound at the edge of the crease ahead of Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark. It was Stempniak's third career goal in 21 games against his hometown team. New Jersey is the eighth team for Stempniak, a fifth-round pick out of Dartmouth by St. Louis in 2003.
Middle frame led in snoozes: The second period was particularly low on the entertainment scale. The Devils outshot the Sabres, 8-7, but the count was just 3-3 through 16 minutes before the tempo finally picked up.
Taking advantage: The Devils took a two-goal lead at 4:12 of the third period as Zach Bogosian's clear up the wall deflected away from Ryan O'Reilly and Jiri Tlusty whirled and fired from the slot to beat Ullmark. It was just Tlusty's second goal in 19 games this season.
Dominating the division: The Devils are 6-0-2 against teams in the Atlantic Division, including 4-0-1 on the road. New Jersey has gone 16-8-3 overall after opening the season 0-3-1.
Bad history vs. Jersey: The Sabres have gone winless in five straight games against the Devils (0-3-2) for the first time since they went 11 straight against New Jersey (0-7-4) from Feb. 10, 2002 to Oct. 28, 2005.
Streak is also history: O'Reilly's eight-game point streak ended. It was the second-longest active one in the league behind Chicago's Patrick Kane and equaded O'Reilly's career long.
Another streak continues: Struggling Buffalo winger Matt Moulson did not score for the 20th consecutive game, extending the most wretched slump of his career.
Power play issues: The Sabres went 0 for 3 with the man advantage, failing to get a shot on goal in their first two chances. They are 0 for 6 the last two games after ascending to second in the league in power play percentage.
Medical report: Marcus Foligno was a scratch because of an upper-body injury. Cal O'Reilly made his Sabres debut and skated on the fourth line with David Legwand and Nicolas Deslauriers.
Brother act: The O'Reillys joined the Sauves (Bob and J.F.) as the only brother act to play together with the Sabres. The Sauves last did that in 1983. The Sabres have had three other brother acts (Randy/Mike Moller, James/Steve Patrick and Darryl/Darrin Shannon) but none of them ever played together here.
Counting the House: The Sabres announced 18,297 tickets were distributed for the game, which included a report-card promotion for high school students.
Up next: The reeling Anaheim Ducks will be here Thursday night at 7. Their coaching staff, including former Sabres goalie Dwayne Roloson, was in the building taking in Tuesday's game. The Patrick Kane Show hits town when the Chicago Blackhawks play here Saturday at 1 in the Sabres' final pre-Christmas game.