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3 Impressions: Pens 5, Sabres 0

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

Penguins assistant general manager Tom Fitzgerald gives his three impressions from the management booth of the Penguins' 5-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres at CONSOL Energy Center.

1. I thought (Sidney Crosby’s) line dominated every shift, led the way.
2. Look at our goaltender, he calms things down. Not that there was a flurry, no pun intended, of shots at one particular time, but made the saves on scrums and digging for pucks around the net that could have easily slid in.
3. Special teams, (Evgeni Malkin) and (Chris Kunitz), that first unit, we were a plus on special teams.

Sam Kasan gives his three impressions from the press box.

The Penguins had a decisive shot advantage over the Sabres, 34-18. And the biggest reason for that was the team’s offensive forecheck. Pittsburgh was relentless in the offensive zone and spent the majority of the game in the Buffalo zone. The Penguins’ passing was so on-point that Buffalo could only helplessly watch at times. The Penguins tilted the ice so heavily in their favor and as a result were in control the entire game.

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has been unbeatable in the past four games. In fact, he’s been perfect in three of those four. He’s 4-0 with a .75 goals-against average, .969 save percentage and three shutouts. Though Fleury wasn’t tested often, he was sharp when he needed to be. The Sabres best stretch of play occurred at the onset of the second period. They created several great scoring chances, but Fleury kept that at bay to hold the Penguins’ 1-0 lead at the time.

Looking at the bigger picture, the Penguins win is the result of a formula that has give the team success all season. Possessing the puck, creating scoring chances, getting strong goaltending and winning the special teams battle. Tonight was no exception. Pittsburgh’s power play was once again unreal, netting three scores on five chances. And the PK has killed 26 straight. The Penguins have found the winning formula, and now it’s just a matter of consistently executing.

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