Devils’ 6-2 romp eliminates Sabres from playoff contention

Tomas Tatar scored twice and had an assist for the New Jersey Devils in a 6-2 win against the visiting Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday in Newark, N.J.

Miles Wood had a goal and an assist, Nathan Bastian had three assists and Nico Hischier had two assists for the Devils (51-22-8, 110 points), who clinched home ice in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs with the victory. Vitek Vanecek made 36 saves.

Jeff Skinner and Mattias Samuelsson scored, Alex Tuch had two assists and Devon Levi made 27 saves for the Sabres (40-33-7, 87 points), who were eliminated from playoff contention.

Jesper Boqvist gave the Devils a 1-0 lead at 11:42 of the first period. His shot from the bottom of the left circle deflected into the net off the skate of Buffalo defenseman Henri Jokiharju.

Jonas Siegenthaler made it 2-0 at 1:06 of the second period. Tatar sent a pass to Hischier, who quickly fed it to Siegenthaler for a shot from above the left circle.

JJ Peterka appeared to get the Sabres on the board when he took a pass from Kyle Okposo off the rush six and a half minutes into the period. But New Jersey challenged for offside and the goal was overturned after video review confirmed Peterka preceded the puck into the zone.

Buffalo would get it back a few minutes later. Tuch sent a back pass down to the net for Casey Mittelstadt, who pulled Vanecek to the right before feeding a no-look backhand pass along the top of the crease over to Skinner on the other side, narrowing it to 2-1 at 6:55.

Wood put the Devils ahead 3-1 lead at 9:28 when he was left uncovered heading to low in the right circle to pick up a rebound and send it through traffic past Levi.

Tatar scored from the left circle to extend it to 4-1 at 7:10 of the third period.

Samuelsson cut it to 4-2 from the right circle at 13:15.

Tatar made it 5-2 with an empty-net goal at 17:28 and Jack Hughes pushed it to 6-2 with another empty-net tally at 18:15.