0:00: Sidney Crosby
picks up his third hat trick of the season, the Penguins score four times in the second period to overcome a 3-1 deficit and they kill off a penalty over the final two minutes of the game to come away with a 5-4 defeat of the Sabres. Pittsburgh is now 2-1 on the season against the Sabres and they have won back-to-back home games to give themselves 35 wins on the season.
Buffalo uses their timeout.
Buffalo will have another power play with Orpik off for holding.
The Sabres capitalize on the man-advantage as Pominville scores his third goal in three games against the Penguins on a one-timer from 10 feet away. Penguins 5, Sabres 4.
Buffalo gets a late crack on a power play with Gonchar off for tripping.
Vanek skates slowly back to his bench after taking a puck to the face.
Crosby set up Guerin in the high slot but his shot clangs off the goal post to the right of Miller.
The Penguins just showed Don Farr Moving and Storage Moves of the Game on the Jumbotron:
Crosby has never scored four goals in a game before in the NHL, but that almost changed seconds ago. Taking a pass from Guerin, Crosby shot down the left seam and blasted a shot into the pads of Miller.
Tonight's Exceptional Moment - Darius Kasparaitis' game-winning goal against the Sabres in Game 7 of the 2001 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals:
Fans boo as Nick Johnson was tripped by Jason Pominville behind the Buffalo cage with no penalty called.
Pittsburgh threatens once again but the Sabres kill off the Hecht penalty.
The Penguins have a chance to put this game away early in the third thanks to a power play after Jochen Hecht heads off for tripping.
Pittsburgh looks to put the finishnig touches on their dramatic comeback.
SECOND PERIOD NOTES:
- Sidney Crosby
leads the Penguins with four shots and is 7-4 on faceoffs.
- The Penguins have blocked 11 Buffalo shots, lead by three for Tyler Kennedy
- Pittsburgh is doubling the Sabres up in hits, 18-9.
Pittsburgh scores four times in the second period, including a hat trick off the blade of Crosby, to take a 5-3 lead after 40 minutes. Buffalo is still outshooting the Penguins, 23-18.
Crosby's hat trick gives him three on the season - the first time a Penguin has had three hat tricks since Alexei Kovalev during the 2001-02 season.
idney Crosby is now tied for the NHL lead with 37 goals on the season and he has hat trick No. 3 of the campaign. Hats and tote bags are littering the ice as Crosby takes a leap pass from Letang, moves to the slot, makes a couple moves with his hands and rips a shot past Miller. Penguins 5, Sabres 3.
Crosby picks off an errant clearing pass by Miller along the near boards and fires a slap shot off a diving Miller's glove and into the cage for his second goal of the game. Penguins 4, Sabres 3.
The coincidental penalties to Letang and Vanek expire but now Guerin and Drew Stafford receive penalties. Stafford's was for slashing and Guerin's for high-sticking.
Fleury comes out to the top of his crease to make a right-pad save on Steve Montador, the second save he made on Montador in a 20-second span.
Crosby uses his body to get leverage on Tallinder one-on-one but his backhander just sails wide of the cage as Crosby runs into the net and dislodges it.
Vanek and Letang take coincidental slashing penalties and we have four-on-four action.
Wristbands go on sale tomorrow for the YMCA Junior Penguins Autograph Session Fundraiser! Wristbands go on sale at 10 a.m. and are only available for purchase online. Click here for more information. Player information will be updated before the sale, so check back!
We have a brand new hockey game at Mellon Arena!!! And Jordan Staal
's slump is officially over! Staal takes a pass in the slot from Malkin and buries his 14th goal of the season through the legs of Miller to knot the score. Pascal Dupuis
picks up the second assist. Penguins 3, Sabres 3.
Cooke almost has the rebound of Crosby's shot bounce off Miller and then off his shin pad but instead the puck just rolls wide.
Pittsburgh's power play comes through again! Malkin moves the puck to Alex Goligoski at the center point. Goligoski fakes a slap shot then feeds Crosby standing at the bottom of the right circle for a one-timer past Miller. Crosby is now tied with Alex Ovechkin for second overall in the NHL with 35 goals, two less than San Jose's Patrick Marleau. Sabres 3, Penguins 2.
You knew this was coming - fans react with great approval as Buffalo finally heads to the penalty box. Chris Butler is sent off for hooking.
Presenting tonight's Shearer's Crunches of the Game:
A tic-tac-toe play from Clarke MacArthur to Mike Grier to Tim Kennedy results in another tap in from just outside the Penguins crease. Sabres 3, Penguins 1.
Staal steals the puck at the Penguins blue line but he shot at the other end is ripped wide of the cage as Guerin steps out of the box.
Big save by Fleury on a tricky shot by Roy through traffic. His shot didn't have a lot on it, but Fleury definitely didn't see it until the last second.
Fans are getting restless at Mellon Arena as a third-consecutive penalty - a slashing call to Guerin - is given to the Penguins.
Miller comes 12 feet out of his cage to catch a blast from Kennedy streaking down the right side in his chest protector. Both teams have given up more odd-man rushes than either would like.
Vanek just missed the cage from 10 feet away on one-timer in the slot.
The Penguins and Sabres are back in action.
FIRST PERIOD NOTES:
- The Penguins went 11-7 on faceoffs.
- Pittsburgh outhit Buffalo, 8-6.
- Sergei Gonchar and Kris Letang
each had two shots on goal.
Buffalo has a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play and they also hold a 12-8 shots advantage.
The Penguins are using the same lines they used yesterday:
Roy picks off a Penguins pass at the Pittsburgh blue line and fires a shot off the pad of Fleury, who was alert to be ready for that quick turnover.
Here is tonight's Big 5, sponsored by Nemacolin Woodlands:
Staal almost bangs a shot off the leg of Miller from behind the far post.
Malkin just hit the outside of the net on a two-on-one with Crosby. Skoula began the play with a gorgeous 'Murphy Dump' to Crosby.
Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and Besa Tsintsadze, skating instructor for Sergei Gonchar, Evgeni Malkin
and many of the Penguins will be guests on ‘NHL in Russian’ tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. EST on Penguins HD Radio. Stream it live, or check the replay schedule here
Pittsburgh kills off the Fedotenko penalty.
Fedotenko gets two minutes for interference, the Sabres' second power-play opportunity of the period.
Miller robs Kris Letang
with a right-pad save as the Penguins defenseman took a backdoor feed from Sidney Crosby
in the right circle.
12:37: Matt Cooke
flattens Henrik Tallinder along the near boards in front of the penalty box.
The Penguins and Sabres have had their fair share of moments over the past 10 seasons - the 2008 Winter Classic and a seven-game playoff series in 2001 to name a few:
A breakdown by the Penguins allows Roy to feed Thomas Vanek cutting down the right seam and the Sabres sniper beat Fleury over the glove for his team-leading 17th goal of the season. Sabres 2, Penguins 1.
Two seconds before Johnson was set to return to the ice Derek Roy picked up a loose puck in the middle of the slot and threw a turnaround shot behind Fleury to knot the score. Penguins 1, Sabres 1.
Nick Johnson is off to the penalty box on a holding call.
Patrick Kaleta, who has battled injuries all season, hobbles back to his bench after taking a Martin Skoula slap shot in his foot.
Mark Letestu said this morning he wanted to pick up his first NHL goal tonight against the Sabres. It took him all of one shift and 47 seconds to make due on his promise. He took a pass from Tyler Kennedy
on a two-on-one and tapped the puck into the cage behind Ryan Miller. Penguins 1, Sabres 0.
Play is underway at Mellon Arena as the Penguins look to secure back-to-back home victories.
STAT OF THE NIGHT:
Buffalo's Tim Connolly has picked up 26 points (7G-19A) over his previous 18 games.
7:05: Marc-Andre Fleury
gets the call in goal for the Penguins for the second-consecutive night. Fleury is 27-15-1 on the season and will be opposed by the Sabres Ryan Miller, who will lead Team USA later this month at the Olympic Games.
We have the lineups for tonight's game and the Penguins have a surprise scratch. Defenseman Jay McKee is among the Pittsburgh scratches, along with Maxime Talbot and Eric Godard. McKee will be replaced by Martin Skoula. Buffalo's scratches include forward Matt Ellis and defensemen Nathan Paetsch and Andrej Sekera.
The Penguins look to complete a sweep of back-to-back home games as they host the Buffalo Sabres at 7 p.m. here at Mellon Arena. Pittsburgh is coming off a 2-1 shootout victory against the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday afternoon. Sidney Crosby
notched his 34th goal of the season in regulation and later teamed with Evgeni Malkin
to tally the only goals of the shootout.
Author: Jason Seidling