Steve Bernier scored twice, including the 100th of his career, in leading the New Jersey Devils 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres.
Scott Gomez and Adam Henrique set up both goals in helping New Jersey improve to 3-0-1 in its past four. Jordin Tootoo also scored for the Devils (31-29-11), who inched up the Eastern Conference standings by moving into a tie for 11th with Philadelphia.
Backup goalie Keith Kinkaid stopped the first 27 shots he faced — and 28 overall — before having his shutout bid end with 8:19 left, when Matt Moulson scored a power-play goal.
The last-place Sabres (20-44-7) had a modest 1-0-1 streak snapped, and dropped to 1-6-2 in their past nine.
Bernier snapped a 14-game goal drought by opening the scoring nine minutes into the second period. Gomez started the play by driving up the left wing, drawing both Sabres defensemen — Tyson Strachan and Andre Benoit — with him. Gomez then fed a pass into the middle to a wide-open Bernier, who tapped the puck inside the right post before goalie Anders Lindback could get across.
Bernier scored again just under five minutes later. Henrique set him up this time by flipping a bad-angle shot into the crease from the left corner. Lindback had difficulty controlling the puck and Bernier shoveled it in while driving in front from behind the net.
The Henrique-centered line picked up the slack for a team that was playing without two key forwards. Mike Cammalleri was scratched because of an illness that forced him to leave the ice early during the morning skate. And Patrik Elias missed his third straight game with back spasms.
Tootoo scored on a partial breakaway 8 minutes into the third before the Sabres — the NHL's lowest scoring team — finally got on the board.
Kinkaid stopped the first two shots: Brian Gionta's slap shot from the right circle and Tyler Ennis' blast from the left circle. The puck then dribbled into the crease, where Moulson stuffed it in.
Kinkaid got the start in place of Cory Schneider, who got a break after appearing in 16 of New Jersey's past 17 games, including a 35-save, 2-0 shutout of Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
The Sabres had a goal disallowed following a video review seven minutes in. Goalie Keith Kinkaid stopped Rasmus Ristolainen's shot from the right circle but gave up a rebound into the slot. Replays showed that Johan Larsson clearly directed the puck into the net with his right skate.
NOTES: The Sabres recalled C Mikhail Grigorenko from AHL Rochester, and demoted forward Tim Schaller and defenseman Chad Ruhwedel. ... Henrique extended his points streak to four games, in which he has two goals and three assists. ... The Devils won their first game at Buffalo since a 4-1 victory on Feb. 14, 2012, to snap an 0-1-3 skid.