Niagara Gazette — BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Nathan Gerbe scored the only goal in the shootout to give the Buffalo Sabres a 3-2 victory Sunday night over New Jersey that extended the Devils' losing streak to seven games.
Ryan Miller stopped 37 shots through overtime, and all three shootout attempts — included a victory-clinching glove save on Travis Zajac.
Steve Ott extended his goal streak to three games, and Patrick Kaleta also scored for Buffalo, which won its third straight.
Steve Sullivan and Mark Fayne, who forced overtime with a short-handed goal, scored for the Devils, who are 0-3-4 in their past seven. That is their longest winless streak since going 0-4-2-1 from Nov. 10-23, 2001.
The Devils' loss clinched a playoff spot for the Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins and the West-leading Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday became the first teams to secure berths.
New Jersey (15-14-10), 1-5-6 in its past 12 road games, is 6-12-7 following a 9-2-3 start. The Devils haven't won since star forward Ilya Kovalchuk injured a shoulder.
The Sabres (16-17-6) jumped ahead of idle Philadelphia and into 11th place in the East, two points behind the ninth-place Devils.
Gerbe scored on the Sabres' second shootout attempt by snapping a shot that beat Martin Brodeur low on the glove side. Miller made his best stop on the Devils' next attempt when he kicked out his right pad at the last moment to stop Patrik Elias.
Brodeur finished with 24 saves, including stopping all four shots he faced in overtime. His best stop came with 70 seconds left in the extra frame, when he held his ground and protected the right side to foil Drew Stafford, who was driving in on a 2-on-1 break.
New Jersey's skid has coincided with the absence of forward Ilya Kovalchuk, who missed his seventh game with a shoulder injury. Before the game, general manager Lou Lamoriello said "it won't be long" before Kovalchuk resumes skating.