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Miller & Gerbe spark Sabres to 2-0 victory over Devils, now 5 points up on Carolina for final playoff spot

 An early first period goal by Nathan Gerbe, hotter than a firecracker with seven goals in his last nine games, and shutout goaltending by Ryan Miller were all the Sabres needed in a 2-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils Saturday night at HSBC Arena in Buffalo. Another first period score by Thomas Vanek, his first in five games gave the Sabes some breathing room 
"We weren't ready to play tonight", said Devils coach Jacques Lemaire after the game. Lemaire felt that his team had gotten away from their trademark defensive game because they had been shutout by Pittsburgh 1-0 Friday (they also scored only once in their previous game, a 4-1 loss to Boston) and the players were desperate to score some goals.
Jason Pominville agreed saying that the Sabres were able to take advantage of the Devils first period mistakes. Thomas Vanek felt that the Devils made adjustments after the opening 20 minutes and got back to their stifling game plan which shut the Sabres out for the final two periods. But the Sabres 2-0 lead was more than they would need as they shut out the Devils all night long.
The eighth place Sabres are now 11-3-3 in their last 17 games and lead ninth place Carolina by five points for the last playoff spot in the eastern conference with only seven games remaining.
Asked after the game how the Sabres recent successes have affected the teams confidence level, goalie Ryan Miller said "We feel we can play well enough to beat any team we play." Miller had 30 saves for his fifth shutout of the season , his second in the last three games. Martin Brodeur stopped 26 of 28 shots for the Devils.


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