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Devils’ Elias has 3 points to reach 1,000 career in win

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Patrik Elias had a goal and two assists to reach 1,000, NHL points, and the New Jersey Devils beat the struggling Buffalo Sabres 4-1 on Tuesday night.

The goal was the 399th for Elias.

Travis Zajac and Michael Cammalleri each had a goal and an assist. And Jordin Tootoo also scored as the Devils won consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 14.

Cory Schneider made 20 saves.

Mikhail Grigorenko netted his first goal of the season for the Sabres, who have lost five straight and are 1-8-1 in their last 10 games.

The Devils dominated the first period, jumping out to a 3-0 lead and outshooting the Sabres 13-4. Elias had a goal and an assist in the frame. He opening the scoring at 3:44, redirecting Cammalleri’s pass between Jhonas Enroth’s pads.

Tootoo made it 2-0 at 9:49 with a wrist shot from above the left circle that sailed over Enroth’s glove. Schneider earned the second assist, giving him his first point with the Devils.

With New Jersey short-handed, Elias chipped the puck out the Devils end and sent Zajac on his way to a breakaway goal at 14:39.

Buffalo regrouped to start the second period, and Philip Varone and Chris Stewart tested Schneider in the opening minutes.

The Sabres’ persistence finally paid off as Grigorenko ripped a power-play shot from the high slot past Schneider at 6:40 to trim the Devils’ lead to 3-1.

Buffalo again pressed the attack midway through the third period, and came close to scoring when Varone hit the post.

However, the Sabres couldn’t break through, and Cammalleri iced the game for New Jersey with an empty-net goal. That gave Elias the milestone assist as he became the 82nd player to reach 1,000 points.

NOTES: The Sabres recalled Varone and C Brian Flynn from Rochester (AHL) on Monday. … Buffalo scratched RW Brian Gionta (upper body), RW Drew Stafford, D Andrej Meszaros and D Andre Benoit. … New Jersey scratched LW Martin Havlat (illness), D Peter Harrold (facial injury), and D Eric Gelinas (illness). … Devils D Mark Fraser and Stewart fought right after the faceoff following Elias’ goal. … Schneider has seven career assists. Martin Brodeur, the longtime goalie he replaced, had 45 assists and two goals with the Devils.

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