Hughes lifts Devils over Sabres 4-3 to snap six-game losing skid

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  • Buffalo Sabres
    Buffalo Sabres
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  • New Jersey Devils
    New Jersey Devils
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  • Jack Hughes
    Jack Hughes
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  • Jesper Bratt
    Jesper Bratt
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt each had a goal and two assists to help the New Jersey Devils end their six-game losing streak with a 4-3 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night.

Hughes’ sixth goal of the season gave New Jersey a 3-2 lead in the third period after a failed Sabres clearing attempt led to a rebound from a shot by Yegor Sharangovich, who scored 2:22 later to make it 4-2.

Bratt’s goal gave the Devils a 2-0 edge in the first after a power-play goal from Dougie Hamilton opened the scoring.

The Devils returned from the holiday break minus Tomas Tatar and Jimmy Vesey, who are in COVID-19 protocol, for their first game since a 3-2 home loss to Pittsburgh on Dec. 19.

It was the first game in 12 days for the Sabres after four straight postponements. They were without six players and coach Don Granato, who was placed in COVID-19 protocol on Sunday. Buffalo returned to the ice for the first time since a 3-2 overtime loss at Pittsburgh on Dec. 17.

Tage Thompson scored twice in the second period for the Sabres, giving him a team-leading 12 goals. They were Thompson’s first goals in 10 games.

Buffalo defenseman Ethan Prow also scored in his NHL debut.

Mackenzie Blackwood made 20 saves for his first win since Dec. 8.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 38 shots for Buffalo.

SABRES DEBUTS

Forwards Alex Tuch and Peyton Krebs, each acquired in the Jack Eichel trade with Vegas, made their Sabres debuts. Tuch was activated from injured reserve. They joined rookie forward JJ Peterka and Prow, who made their NHL debuts.

COVID-19 ABSENCES

Vesey was placed on the COVID-19 protocol list, and Devils forwards Marian Studenic and Jesper Boqvist were recalled from the team’s taxi squad.

The Sabres placed defenseman Jacob Bryson on the COVID-19 protocol list and recalled Prow from the team’s taxi squad. Buffalo was also without defensemen Robert Hagg and Colin Miller due to injuries.

UP NEXT

Devils: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Friday afternoon.

Sabres: Visit the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Joe Yerdon, The Associated Press

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