Thoughts, musings and observations from the Pens' 2-1 shootout loss to Buffalo...
* Marc-Andre Fleury was an absolute treat to watch during the overtime period and the shootout. Both teams had their chances, but I thought Buffalo had more of them and he was vintage 'Flower' by stopping them in athletic, dazzling fashion. The 3-on-3 format is especially difficult for goaltenders, but Fleury made it look easy.
* Fleury was strong during regulation as well. The only puck that found its way past him was the result of a perfect tip in an otherwise-strong first period for the Pens. He was particularly good on the penalty kill, as the Pens found themselves on a lot of those tonight (four total). The Sabres did a good job of creating scrums around the net, and he did a good job of weathering those storms.
* Overall, Sidney Crosby said it was one of those nights you leave feeling like you deserved better, and I'd have to agree. The Pens had a lot of shots and a lot of chances, but just couldn't get them to fall at the rate they usually do. But the positive is that they were creating a lot.
* That being said, the Pens had 47 shots - including 18 in the first - and I think they could have done a better job of following those up, particularly in the second period. They could have gotten more bodies there to create those second and third opportunities. It didn't feel like Sabres goalie Anders Nilsson was really tested all that much.
* Crosby felt like the power play wasn't opportunistic enough last game, but that wasn't the case tonight. It got the tying goal in the third. Kessel put a shot on net, where Malkin and Kunitz were camped out. Kunitz managed to get the rebound over to Crosby at the side of the net, who quickly placed it in. That goal was nearly identical to the power-play tally he scored last night against the Islanders. He's certainly having some success in that area of the ice.
* The Pens gave the Sabres a huge challenge late in the second period. Malkin's line pinned the Sabres down in their end for almost three full minutes. Malkin's shift alone was 2:34. That's incredible. They did a phenomenal job of hanging onto the puck and working it around the zone. The Sabres were absolutely exhausted and ended up icing the puck, allowing the Pens to get fresh legs out. But while Crosby won the faceoff, Buffalo cleared shortly after. It was unfortunate the Pens couldn't parlay that sequence into a goal.