New Jersey Devils Game 77 Preview: vs. Buffalo Sabres

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 18: Jesper Boqvist #70 of the New Jersey Devils scores a goal during the third period of a game against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena on April 18, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Zak Krill/NHLI via Getty Images)

The New Jersey Devils return home to take on the Buffalo Sabres for the final time this season.

Record: 27-42-7 (61 points, 7th in Metro)

The Opponent: Buffalo Sabres (29-38-11) – FHN Site: The Blue & Gold

Puckdrop: 7:00 PM ET

Venue: Prudential Center

Expected Goaltenders: Andrew Hammond (4-2-1) vs. Craig Anderson (16-12-2)

Television Broadcasts: MSG+, MSG-B

Buffalo Sabres

The Sabers have been a fun team since acquiring Peyton Krebs and Alex Tuch from the Vegas Golden Knights on February 4 as their young guns have been on full display. Like New Jersey, Buffalo’s youth movement and scoring ability has given their fanbase hope for the future.

Buffalo comes into tonight’s game having won three of their last four as they swept a home-and-home over the weekend against the Philadelphia Flyers. In Sunday’s game, Tage Thompson and Victor Olofsson each potted a pair of goals in the 5-3 victory. Goaltender Dustin Tokarski stopped 32 of 35 shots to record his eighth win of the season.

Thompson’s breakout season has been one of the bright sports for Buffalo this season. The 24-year-old leads the team with 36 goals and 63 points. Thompson eclipsed his previous career-high of 14 points in November.

Courtesy of JFresh Hockey

Craig Anderson is expected to be in net tonight for Buffalo. In his first season with the Sabres, the 40-year-old goaltender has a 16-12-2 record to go with 3.15 GAA and .896 save percentage.

New Jersey Devils

The Devils return home following a successful road trip that saw them earn at least a point in four out of five games. Their road-trip concluded on Monday night by delivering a damaging blow to the Golden Knights’ playoff hopes.

The fourth line was the star of the show against Vegas as Nate Bastian and Andreas Johnsson accounted for two of the team’s three goals. Jesper Boqvist scored a dazzling goal that would end up being the game-winner.

Andrew Hammond stood on his head at times to earn his first win as a Devil. The 34-year-old journeyman made 42 saves to record his fourth win of the season. Hammond is expected to be back in net against Buffalo.

Player to Watch: Jesper Boqvist

Boqvist had one of the stronger road trip of all the forwards. The 23-year-old recorded three goals and one assist over the last five games bringing him up to nine goals and 11 assists on the season.

This is Boqvist’s fifth year in the organization and he’s had his fair share of ups and downs to this point. Once a highly touted prospect, he has struggled to find a consistent spot in the team’s lineup.

Boqvist is currently playing the best hockey of his young career as he’s fighting for a roster spot next season. Expect him to continue his strong play tonight against the Sabres as he looks to force his way into future roster consideration.

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