Sports

Jagr, Devils host sliding Sabres

(SportsNetwork.com) - While the New Jersey Devils' offense is being led by 42- year-old Jaromir Jagr, the Buffalo Sabres are hoping the return of their young defenseman can help them get back on track.

Former first-round pick Tyler Myers is set to return to action on Tuesday night when the Sabres visit the Devils looking for their first road victory in over a month.

Myers has missed seven straight games with a lower-body injury and the Sabres are 1-5-1 over that stretch. The 24-year-old has just eight points in 32 games, but is averaging a team-leading 25 minutes and 21 seconds of ice time per game.

Buffalo was routed 6-1 by the New York Rangers on Saturday, losing its fourth straight and for the eighth time in nine games. New York blitzed the Sabres for four goals -- three on the power play -- in the first period, chasing Michal Neuvirth from the contest after less than 13 minutes.

Neuvirth made five saves on nine shots faced, while Jhonas Enroth posted 28 saves on 30 shots faced and Drew Stafford had a goal.

"We were probably out of it before it even started," said Sabres head coach Ted Nolan. "I thought the first 5-to-6 minutes we had some good energy with a better start than last night. Then all of a sudden, a bad penalty. They get one. Then all of a sudden, they get another one and another one, and then the game is over."

The Sabres dropped the opener of a four-game road trip and have lost seven straight as the guest, having not won away from Buffalo since Nov. 29. They have lost three of their past four in New Jersey.

Buffalo also will try to avoid matching a season-high five-game slide set from Nov. 5-13 with Enroth in net. He is 1-1-1 with a 3.02 goals against average and .885 save percentage in four previous starts.

While the Sabres are looking for Myers to strengthen their defense, Jagr comes in leading the Devils with 16 assists and 25 points. His nine goals rank third on the team, a total that was boosted with a hat trick on Saturday in a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Jagr posted his 15th career hat trick and first since March 22, 2006. In doing so, he became the oldest player in NHL history with a three-goal game. He netted his three goals at the age of 42 years and 322 days.

"I like to score a hat trick but I don't like to be the oldest guy. I don't want to be the oldest," quipped Jagr, who is three goals shy of matching Phil Esposito (717) for fifth on the league's all-time goals list.

Scott Gomez added a goal and two assists with Patrik Elias providing the other marker for the Devils, who won for just the third time in their last 13 games (3-7-3). Cory Schneider came up with 18 saves.

New Jersey is looking to win back-to-back games for the first time since Nov. 11 and 14 and are expected to have forward Steve Bernier back from a two-game absence caused by a leg injury, though defenseman Eric Gelinas could miss a third game in a row due to the flu.

Schneider will start for New Jersey and is just 1-2-2 versus the Sabres despite a 1.76 GAA and .925 save percentage in five meetings (4 starts).