The New Jersey Devils were hoping for a little offensive spark with the return of winger Ilya Kovalchuk, who took the ice on Wednesday night against the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo.
And that's exactly what they got in a 5-3 victory.
Kovalchuck needed just over five minutes in the opening period to get back to work, wristing one in on the power play with assists by Patrik Elias and Martin Brodeur to make it two-nothing Devils. Zach Parise (assisted by Adam Henrique) got the visitors on the board with a 24-foot slapper two minutes into the game.
Tyler Myers' backhander (assisted by Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek) got the Sabres back into the game with just a minute to go in the first period, but the Buffalo sticks would remain dormant until late in the third when Myers (assisted by Nathan Gerbe and Matt Ellis) found the net once again followed by Jordan Leopold (assisted by Drew Stafford and Ville Leino) to give the homers three.
It wasn't enough.
That's because Patrik Elias (assisted by Petr Sykora) and David Clarkson (assisted by Andy Greene) also scored for the Devils, giving them enough for a final score of 5-3. New Jersey improves to 9-7-1 with the victory while Buffalo falls to 11-7-0 in defeat.
For more on tonight's game visit In Lou We Trust.