New Jersey Devils Game 4 Preview: vs. Buffalo Sabres

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - OCTOBER 04: Nico Hischier #13 of the New Jersey Devils moves the puck away from Daniel Sprong #10 of the Washington Capitals during the first period in a preseason game at the Prudential Center on October 04, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

After suffering their first loss of the season, the New Jersey Devils welcome the Buffalo Sabres to town for their first matchup of the season.

Tale of the Tape:

The Opponent: Buffalo Sabres (3-1-0) – FHN Blog: The Blue & Gold

Puckdrop: 7:00 PM ET

Venue: Prudential Center

Expected Goaltenders: Nico Daws (0-0-0) vs. Dustin Tokarski (1-0-0)

Television Broadcasts: MSG, MSG-B

Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres had a surprising start to their season as they won their first three games to start the year. Buffalo did, however, suffer their first loss of the season last night against the Boston Bruins.

Buffalo will turn to goaltender Dustin Tokarski for his second start of the season. Tokarski has had an interesting career to say the least. While with the Montreal Canadiens, he came in after an injury to Carey Price in the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals. The 32-year-old goaltender has struggled to stay in the league since then, appearing in only 38 games since that series including three seasons out of the league entirely.

New Jersey Devils

The Devils were flat in their last game against the Washington Capitals. New Jersey struggled to find offensive zone consistency throughout the game and only managed one goal.

Tonight needs to be different if they want to have a chance of winning. Granted, the Sabres aren’t as skilled or deep as the Capitals but that does not mean New Jersey will cruise to a victory. They need to put the pressure on early against the Buffalo team that could be fatigued from playing last night.

New Jersey will go with goaltender Nico Daws in his first career NHL start tonight. Daws was a third-round pick by New Jersey in 2020 and has been moving along nicely in his development. With injuries to fellow netminders Jonathan Bernier and Mackenzie Blackwood, the door is open for Daws to show what he can do at the highest level.

Player to Watch: Nico Hischier

After a poor overall performance by the entire team Thursday, head coach Lindy Ruff challenged the first line to be better. This message falls heavily on the shoulders of Nico Hischier. The former first-overall pick needs to drive play tonight and have a strong outing, along with line mates Pavel Zacha and Jesper Bratt, to prove that their line can be the team’s first line.

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