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. ...more.
In two games at HSBC Arena this season, Fleury has now stopped 64 of 66 shots against the Sabres. In addition to his 34-save performance tonight, which included several high-quality saves, particularly in the first period, Fleury also posted a 1-0 shutout win over the Sabres on Nov. 26. During Pittsburgh’s current 12-game winning streak, Fleury has been in net for 11 of the victories.
Marc-Andre Fleury shutout the Sabres in his team’s last trip to Buffalo on Nov. 26, and his shutout streak looked to be in jeopardy early in the first period with Buffalo applying pressure and creating scoring chances deep in the Penguins zone. On one rush, Mike Grier took a short pass from Paul Gaustad at the top of his crease, and his shot looked like it was headed for the back of the net, but a scrambling Fleury kicked out his left leg at the last second to keep the game scoreless. Within five minutes, Pittsburgh had taken a 2-0 lead. Pittsburgh went on to win 5-2.
We created some turnovers, we didn’t finish. Give them credit – they took advantage of the turnovers. - Head Coach Lindy Ruff
- The Penguins’ win tonight gives them twelve straight victories, which is the second-longest winning streak in their franchise history.
- Tyler Ennis put the Sabres on the board with a power play goal in the first period, snapping Fleury’s 94:08 shutout streak against the Sabres, which dated back to last season.
- Thomas Vanek assisted on Ennis’ goal, giving him a three-game point streak and seven points (4-3-7) in the last four games.
- Jason Pominville received a five-minute major for fighting Matt Cooke. It was Pominville’s first career fight as well as the first five-minute major penalty of his career. Pominville also added a goal, giving him a goal in back-to-back games for the first time this season and a three-game point streak (2-1-3).
- Sidney Crosby extended his point streak to 18 games with an assist on Pittsburgh’s third goal of the night.
- Mike Grier fired a season-high five shots on goal. Ennis also registered five shots.
- Tyler Myers led all skaters with 25:10 of ice time.
- Pittsburgh’s first goal was scored by Dustin Jeffrey, who was appearing in his first game of the season.
- Defensemen Craig Rivet and Shaone Morrisonn (concussion-like symptoms) and forward Drew Stafford (upper body) were scratched again for Buffalo. Tim Connolly (groin) and Rob Niedermayer (knee) were also out with injuries.
- Forwards Evgeni Malkin and Eric Godard and defenseman Deryk Engelland were out of the lineup for the Penguins. Malkin has missed four games with an undisclosed injury.
The Sabres and Bruins will meet for the second straight week when Boston comes to HSBC Arena on Wednesday. Boston downed the Sabres 3-2 in overtime last Tuesday in Boston. Luke Adam scored his first career NHL goal in the contest. Miller had entered the game with back-to-back shutouts under his belt and extended his career-best shutout streak to 161:35 during the first period before Milan Lucic scored for Boston. Buffalo is 0-1-1 against Boston this season and will be seeking its first win of the season over the Northeast Division rival Bruins. It will be the Sabres’ last home game before a quick two-game road trip to Florida, where they’ll play the Panthers on Friday and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.