NEWARK, N.J. — Linus Ullmark made 41 saves to help the Buffalo Sabres defeat the New Jersey Devils 4-1 at Prudential Center on Tuesday.
Buffalo (6-8-2) is 2-4-0 in six games since returning from a COVID-19 pause Feb. 15, with both wins against New Jersey. The Sabres will host the Devils on Thursday to finish the home-and-home set.
Sam Reinhart had two assists for the Sabres, who learned before the game defenseman William Borgen will be out 6-8 weeks after having surgery to repair a fracture in his right forearm Tuesday. They were also without defensemen Jake McCabe, who will miss the rest of the season because of injuries to his right knee, and Rasmus Ristolainen, who was removed from the COVID-19 protocol list Feb. 17 and is working his way back into shape after testing positive Feb. 2.
Nikita Gusev scored, and Mackenzie Blackwood made 33 saves for the Devils have (6-6-2), who have lost three straight and are 2-3-0 since returning to action Feb. 16 after 15 days off because of NHL COVID-19 protocol.
Victor Olofsson scored his sixth power-play goal of the season on a slap shot from the right face-off circle to give the Sabres a 1-0 lead at 10:20 of the second period.
Rasmus Asplund and Dylan Cozens scored for Buffalo in a span of 1:34 in the third period. Asplund deflected a shot out of the air just inside the left post to make it 2-0 at 5:16, and Cozens scored on a backhand at the left post off a pass from Taylor Hall for a 3-0 lead at 6:50.
Gusev scored on a snap shot from the left face-off circle with 28 seconds remaining to cut it to 3-1.
Cody Eakin scored into an empty net with one second remaining for the 4-1 final.