|Date of game: 1/6/2015
Recap: New Jersey vs. Buffalo
Newark, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Patrik Elias reached 1,000 career points with a goal and two assists and the New Jersey Devils beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 on Tuesday night.
Elias scored his 399th career goal in the first period and picked up assists Nos. 600 and 601, becoming the 82nd player in NHL history with at least 1,000 points.
Jordin Tootoo, Travis Zajac and Mike Cammalleri also scored for the Devils, who won the last two games of a three-game homestand for their first back-to- back victories since Nov. 11 and 14.
Cory Schneider made 20 saves in his NHL-leading 37th start of the season.
Mikhail Grigorenko scored for the Sabres, who have lost five in a row and nine of their last 10 games. Jhonas Enroth surrendered three goals on 27 shots in the loss.
Elias scored his sixth goal of the season on a redirection 3:44 into the game off Cammalleri's pass into the slot from the right boards.
"He's smart and he's skilled and he's experienced, so he knows where to be at the right time," Schneider said of Elias, who has only played for the Devils in his 19-year NHL career. "He still plays the game at a high level. That's allowed him to be creative and score a lot of goals and get a lot of assists."
Tootoo made it 2-0 at 9:49 of the first period with a wrist shot from above the left circle that made it past two Buffalo defenders and beat Enroth high on the far side of the net.
Elias' 600th career assist found Zajac near center ice, leading to a breakaway and a short-handed goal for a 3-0 lead with 5:21 remaining in the first.
"It boils down to mental preparation," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. "We've got to be mentally ready to start. We've got to be mentally ready to know our assignments. We've just got to be prepared. I mean, this is the National Hockey League."
Grigorenko got Buffalo on the board during a power play 6:40 into the second period with a one-timer from the slot that hugged the ice to beat Schneider.
It remained 3-1 until Cammalleri's empty-net goal with 3:04 remaining in the game. Elias received an assist on the play.Game Notes
The Devils are 4-0-2 in their last six homes games against the Sabres ... New
Jersey plays at Boston on Thursday ... The Sabres continue a four-game road
trip on Thursday against Carolina ... Elias is trying to become the 91st NHL
player with 400 goals.