NHL Recaps: Sabres clip Devils, Avs beat Yotes, and Jackets edge Isles

NHL Recaps:  March 24, 2023

Friday night’s schedule in the NHL was light with just three matchups on tap.

The Buffalo Sabres kept their playoffs hopes alive by beating the New Jersey Devils. Meanwhile, Kent Johnson pulls off the ‘Michigan’ to help the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the New York Islanders.

Finally, Cale Makar has a nice return to the Colorado Avalanche lineup as they knock off the Arizona Coyotes.

NHL Recaps: Sabres hold off Devils

Sabres 5 vs Devils 4

Alex Tuch scored twice in the second period for host Buffalo Sabres, which withstood a third-period rally by Jack Hughes and New Jersey.

Dylan Cozens, Tage Thompson and Jack Quinn scored in the first for the Sabres, who snapped a four-game losing streak. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 27 saves for the win.

“That was big for us. Obviously, we’ve been struggling lately,” Cozens said. “To come out and get the first one and the first few, it was big for us. Obviously, we don’t quite like how we ended it. We let them back in it, but we got the win. That’s what matters.”


Yegor Sharangovich and Kevin Bahl scored in the first and Hughes twice in the third for the Devils, who lost for the fifth time in six games (1-3-2) and missed a chance to clinch their first playoff berth since 2018. Goalie Akira Schmid was chased after allowing three goals on seven shots. Vitek Vanecek recorded 17 saves in relief.

NHL Recaps: Cale Makar returns

nhl recaps cale makar
Mar 24, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Avalanche goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) and defenseman Cale Makar (8) and defenseman Devon Toews (7) celebrate defeating the Arizona Coyotes at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Avalanche 3 vs Coyotes 1

Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar collected a goal and two assists each, J.T. Compher also had a goal and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Arizona Coyotes 3-1 on Friday in Denver.

Alexandar Georgiev turned away 17 shots and Valeri Nichushkin had two assists for Colorado. The Avalanche moved within two points of Central Division-leader Dallas with a game in hand on the Stars.

Clayton Keller scored and Karel Vejmelka had 27 saves for Arizona.

Colorado got stronger on the back end with the return of defensemen Makar and Erik Johnson. Makar had missed the previous two games with a lower-body injury, and Johnson was out for 19 games with a broken ankle sustained at Florida on Feb. 11.

“Guys are just in good spots,” Makar said via NHL.com. “You saw on the power play tonight: I shoot one, ‘Comph’ is obviously in a perfect spot there and picks up the tip and rebound.”

Blue Jackets 5 vs Islanders 4 (OT)

Boone Jenner deflected a Johnny Gaudreau shot for a game-winning power play goal just 40 seconds into overtime as Columbus edged visiting New York.

Gaudreau scored earlier on a power-play and rookie Kent Johnson added a trick goal to highlight a four-goal, second-period explosion for the Blue Jackets, who won their second straight overtime contest. Michael Hutchinson stopped 34 shots.

Brock Nelson scored twice, including the game-tying goal in the third, but the Islanders saw their three-game winning streak come to an end. Ilya Sorokin made 22 saves in the loss.

–Field Level Media