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Aftermath: Penguins 5, Sabres 2

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins
2 - 5

FINAL 1 2 3 T
1 0 1 2
PENGUINS 2 0 3 5
The Penguins put on an excellent display of grit and toughness in a chippy, physical game against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, and Pittsburgh's determination resulted in a 5-2 win at HSBC Arena. They’ve now extended their winning streak (12 games) and unbeaten stretch (15; 14-0-1).

The Sabres put forth a colossal effort in a game that was littered with penalties. They threw everything they had at the Penguins, especially during the second, outshooting them 12-5 in a scoreless middle frame. But Marc-Andre Fleury played out of his mind between the pipes, making 34 saves to earn his 11th-consecutive win.
While captain Sidney Crosby extended his point streak to 18 games with an assist on Alex Goligoski’s game-winning tally with 7:51 remaining in the third that put Pittsburgh up 3-2, it was the Penguins’ second and fourth lines that stole the show in an impressive display of depth.

Each player on those two lines earned at least one point in Saturday’s victory, with Michael Rupp scoring the go-ahead goal to give the Penguins a 4-2 cushion with just 3:17 remaining in regulation. Dustin Jeffrey, who was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday, earned his first-career two-point effort in the NHL with a goal and an assist. Matt Cooke and Arron Asham both scored, Craig Adams had two assists and Maxime Talbot earned a helper.
Dustin Jeffrey
Dustin Jeffrey certainly knows how to make a good first impression. The forward, who was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday, had his first-career two-point effort in the NHL in his first game with Pittsburgh this season.

With 6:43 left on the clock in the first period, defenseman Ben Lovejoy sent a pass from the corner to Jeffrey, who was planted in front of the net. The puck deflected off Jeffrey’s skate and over Ryan Miller to give Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead.

Jeffrey then proceeded to show incredible patience with just 3:17 remaining in regulation to help the Penguins gain a 4-2 lead. He waited for Mike Rupp to get into perfect position before sending him a dead-on pass that the Penguins forward stuffed through Miller’s five-hole.

And not only did Jeffrey contribute offensively, but he also saw time on the Penguins special teams play. The forward spent 1:49 on the power play and even played a shift on the penalty kill.
In a game where the Penguins carried a precarious 2-1 lead into the third period, Alex Goligoski’s goal with 7:51 remaining in the third period seemed to be the turning point in a close game. But Pittsburgh didn’t get to savor their two-goal lead for very long, as Buffalo responded just 51 seconds later to climb back within one.

But Michael Rupp’s goal off a beautiful feed from Dustin Jeffrey with just 3:17 remaining in regulation finally silenced an aggressive Buffalo squad. Rupp’s tally, his second in four games, put the Penguins up 4-2 and completely deflated the Sabres. It paved the way for Matt Cooke to ice the victory with an empty-netter with 43 seconds left to give Pittsburgh a 5-2 victory.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Marc-Andre Fleury made 34 saves to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to their 12th straight victory, 5-2 over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.

Alex Goligoski and Michael Rupp scored 4:34 apart in the third period to seal a victory in a game the Penguins never trailed. Dustin Jeffrey and Arron Asham both scored first period goals for Pittsburgh, and Matt Cooke scored into an empty net.

Sidney Crosby set up Goligoski's goal to extend his point streak to 18 games - one short of matching a career best.

The Penguins (21-8-2) maintained their lead atop the NHL standings and matched a franchise-best by winning their seventh consecutive road game.
• With their win over the Sabres, the Penguins have now equaled a franchise record for consecutive road victories, extending their NHL-best road-winning streak to seven games.

• With Saturday’s win, Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has tied his career-best unbeaten stretch. Fleury now has a 13-0-1 record in his past 14 games and has won 11-consecutive games, also a personal-best for the Pittsburgh netminder. He also went undefeated in 14 games from Jan. 13 to Feb. 16, 2007, earning a 12-0-2 record.

Sidney Crosby extended his point streak to 18 games when he assisted on Alex Goligoski's sixth goal of the season. The Penguins captain now has 36 points (20G-15A) over the stretch and is one game shy of tying his career-best streak of 19 games, which he put together from Oct. 6 to Nov. 17, 2007.

• With his goal, Goligoski has four game-winning tallies so far this season and is now tied for second in the league. The clutch defenseman is tied for fourth among NHL blueliners with six goals.

• Pittsburgh's 15-game unbeaten streak coincides with Chris Conner's insertion into the lineup on Nov. 12 versus Tampa Bay. The Penguins have not lost in regulation since recalling the forward from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last month.

• Talk about a total team effort—with Jeffrey’s tally and Ben Lovejoy’s assist on the play, 14 different players have now scored for the Penguins and 21 different players have notched a point over the team’s 12-game winning streak.

Zbynek Michalek put together another Herculean effort on the ice tonight, throwing his body in front of a team-high four shots. His best block of the night came when he made an incredible sliding play to rob Jason Pominville on a 3-on-2 rush in the third period.

• While Tyler Kennedy didn’t get on the score sheet, he played some inspired hockey against the Sabres, displaying his wicked shot on a number of occasions. In the first period, Conner made a great drop-pass to a trailing Kennedy, whose shot rang off the crossbar. Sabres goalie Miller then gave Kennedy a little taste of “Kick-Save-Krunch” when he robbed him with a kick-save early in the second.
#1. Marc-Andre Fleury
  Goaltender - 29
11th-straight win
34 saves on 36 shots
#2. Jason Pominville
  Forward - 29
1 goal
4 shots
  17:01 TOI
#3. Dustin Jeffrey
  Goaltender - 1
1 goal, 1 assist
1st-career 2-point effort
plus-2 rating

Author: Michelle Crechiolo

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