FINAL SCORE: Thanks to Kris Letang
scoring the lone goal in the shootout the Penguins have defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 2-1, to win their fifth-consecutive game. The Penguins are now 6-0 in shootouts and 9-1 when the game stretches beyond regulation. The Penguins come home on Monday night to host the New Jersey Devils in a battle for first place in the Atlantic Division.
THIRD BUFFALO ATTEMPT:
Drew Stafford misses the net and the Penguins win the game!!!!!!
SECOND PITTSBURGH ATTEMPT:
Lalime somehow keeps the puck out of the net on a shot by Crosby.
SECOND BUFFALO ATTEMPT:
Fleury pokes the puck off the stick of Derek Roy!
FIRST PITTSBURGH ATTEMPT: Kris Letang
takes a backhander upstairs for the goal!
FIRST BUFFALO ATTEMPT:
Jason Pominville is stopped by Fleury's glove!
The game heads to a shootout. Pittsburgh is 5-0 in shootouts and the Sabres are 2-0.
Crosby deflects a Malkin shot but Lalime makes the save. Crosby won the most recent matchup between these two teams last Dec. 22 with a deflection in overtime.
The Penguins kill off another Sabres power play!
Fleury holds onto a rebound to give the Penguins a breather. You can't say enough thus far at the effort of the penalty killers to block shots on this power play.
A high-stick by Goligoski on Stafford gives the Sabres a four-on-three power play.
A shot by Alex Goligoski off the body of Malkin almost rolls behind Lalime but it ends up behind the net.
The Penguins are 8-1 this season when the game goes past regulation and the Sabres are 3-2. All three of Buffalo's losses have come in the overtime period.
The Penguins kill off the Cooke penalty and the clock runs out shortly thereafter and we head to overtime for the second-consecutive game.
Fleury gets to the top of his crease to stop a slap shot from Rivet at the center point.
Now it will be the Sabres with a late power-play opportunity as Cooke gets called for interferring with Connolly.
Great penalty killing by the Sabres makes the Penguins 0-for-5 with the man-advantage.
Buffalo has presented the Penguins with a golden opportunity late in this hockey game to come away with two points as MacArthur is sent to the sin bin for high-sticking Matt Cooke
The Sabres use their timeout with a faceoff to the left of Lalime in the Buffalo end.
Lalime catches a wrist shot from Malkin between his right arm and his body as Rupp drove hard to the net providing traffic.
Fleury dives to the ice to freeze the puck and allow his troops a chance to get a change as the Penguins do an excellent job keeping the Sabres to the outside as the penalty to Orpik expires.
Orpik goes to the penalty box for the second time in the contest as he is called for holding.
Fleury is throwing his body parts everywhere to keep the puck out of his net as Buffalo throws the kitchen sink his way.
Hecht skates on and we are back to five-on-five hockey.
A holding penalty against Jochen Hecht puts the Penguins back on the power play.
Unbelievable save by Lalime to get his pad on a Ruslan Fedotenko shot along the ice from the right-wing circle.
The Penguins kill the second penalty to Malkin.
A faceoff win by Crosby allows Orpik to send the puck the length of the ice. The importance of faceoffs is shown once again.
Malkin can't even step onto the ice before heading right back in. Malkin still had a foot in the box when he tried a pokecheck, leading to an interference penalty. You never know what you're going to see in this great game!
taal gets a breakaway shorthanded but Lalime pokechecks the puck off his blade at the last second.
Connolly rips a shot off the post behind Fleury.
Malkin trips Andrej Sekera at the top of the blue line to put the Sabres back on the power play.
Lalime was ready to make a save on Cooke after Buffalo turned the puck over to him on a regroup.
Something will have to give in this contest because the Penguins are 6-0 when the game is tied after two periods and the Sabres are 5-0-2.
SECOND PERIOD NOTES:
- The Penguins continue to hold a 19-17 advantage on the faceoff dots.
- Sergei Gonchar leads the team in ice time at 16:08.
- Defenseman Mark Eaton will not return to this contest after suffering an injury in the second period.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the middle frame as the score stays tied, 1-1, after two periods. Shots on goal favor Buffalo, 20-13.
The Penguins will play the remainder of the game without Mark Eaton who suffered an injury earlier in the second period when he collided with Mike Grier on a one-on-one.
As the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers get set to participate in the 2010 Winter Classic at Fenway Park on Jan. 1, 2010 here is a picture of the Penguins' 2-1 victory over the Sabres in the 2008 Winter Classic at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Seconds after Fleury denied Tim Connolly at one end Staal sends a one-timer off the post to the left of Lalime.
Malkin and Crosby have the magic going tonight. The only thing keeping them from beating Lalime is the puck keeps going wide of the net.
The Penguins had several great scoring chances on their last power-play opportunity and they will get a fourth crack as Kennedy gets caught tripping Rupp behind the play.
Just when it looked like Tim Kennedy was about to give the Sabres a 2-1 it was Fleury moving from left to right to get the top of his left pad on Kennedy's shot.
Malkin is flying everywhere tonight. He moved out of the corner and saw Lalime make an above-average save with his pads to keep the game tied.
Pittsburgh has killed all three power plays assessed to them.
Somehow the puck stays out of the net on a two-on-one chance between Staal and Talbot. Both players had cracks from just around the crease.
It's been almost a calendar year since the Penguins and Sabres last squared off. The Penguins won, 4-3 in overtime on Dec. 22, 2008 thanks to a Sidney Crosby
Former Buffalo Sabre Jay McKee puts the Sabres on their third power play by taking a roughing penalty.
The Penguins are 0-for-2 with the man-advantage as Rivet is back on the ice.
Malkin misses the net while staring at a wide-open cage thanks to a gorgeous cross-ice setup from Crosby.
A tripping penalty to Rivet gives the Penguins their second power play of the night.
Letang sneaked behind the Sabres defense and directed a pass from Cooke towards Lalime, who slides across his crease to make the save.
Great job by Lalime to stay with a shot from Mark Eaton at the point.
Lalime is down on the ice after colliding with his own teammate, Craig Rivet. Rivet was battling Mike Rupp on the play and the Sabres go after Rupp not realizing it was their own player who knocked Lalime to the ice.
This time Lalime is ready for a long-range shot from Kunitz as he snarls a wrist shot with his glove.
Having the lead after this period will be huge. The Penguins are 14-2 when the hold the advantage after 40 minutes while the Sabres are a perfect 15-0.
FIRST PERIOD NOTES:
- The Penguins went 14-7 on faceoffs in the opening period.
- Jordan Staal
led the Penguins with 7:21 of ice time.
- Evgeni Malkin
won three of his four faceoffs.
All square, 1-1, after 20 minutes of play. Buffalo outshoots the Penguins, 9-5.
Great forechecking by Crosby, Bill Guerin and Chris Kunitz
results in the Penguins tying the game. Crosby stole the puck in the corner and threw a backhand pass to Kunitz, who threw a wrist shot to the net which got through traffic past Lalime. Penguins 1, Sabres 1.
Stafford runs Fleury over on a rush into the Penguins zone but no penalty was called on the play.
2:56: Jordan Staal
went through two Sabres and fired a wrist shot just wide of Lalime from the high slot.
Pominville converts a Clarke MacArthur rebound from the slot and gives the Sabres the opening goal. Sabres 1, Penguins 0.
Lalime sticks out his right pad to deny a quality chance from Tyler Kennedy
Watch an episode of the Geico Penguins Report as Bob Grove, Mike Lange and Phil Bourque talk Penguins hockey:
Letang joins the play and the Penguins kill both penalties in a two-man advantage.
The first penalty expires as Orpik skates out. Fleury brings his pads together to stop a wrist shot in the slot from Derek Roy.
Stafford fires a one-timer from the bottom of the far circle over the net as he stared at an open cage.
Buffalo will have a two-man advantage for 1:05 thanks to a hooking penalty called against Kris Letang
12:23: Brooks Orpik
heads to the penalty box after interferring with Jason Pominville.
A look at the rafters of the RSBC Arena. The French Connection Line racked up huge numbers together during the 1970s.
Fleury makes his first decent save of the night as he uses his chest to stop a Drew Stafford shot.
If you are able to watch this game pay close attention to Tyler Myers, wearing No. 57 for the Sabres. He might be the front-runner for the Calder Trophy. He reminds many of Boston's Zdeno Chara.
The Kaleta penalty expires without the Penguins getting a good offensive look at Lalime.
Patrick Kaleta takes the first penalty of the night for interference.
18:20: Marc-Andre Fleury
is in goal for the Penguins and Patrick Lalime is in the nets for Buffalo. Thomas Vanek is out with an upper-body injury.
The Penguins and Sabres drop the puck for the first time this season.
STAT OF THE NIGHT:
The Penguins are 10-1 this season in 7 p.m. starts.
Despite back-to-back wins over the Flyers head coach Dan Bylsma will make one change to the lineup. Maxime Talbot has been inserted in place of Eric Godard. Martin Skoula is the other scratch for the Penguins. Buffalo's scratches include Thomas Vanek, Nathan Paetsch and Nathan Gerbe.
The Penguins look to improve their winning streak to five consecutive games when they face the Buffalo Sabres for the first time in 2009-10. Buffalo sits in first place in the Northeast Division with a 21-10-2 record and they have won four of their past five games, with their only loss coming earlier this week to Ottawa when several Sabres were suffering from the flu.
Author: Jason Seidling