The Pittsburgh Penguins continue their season-opening home stand Saturday night against the Buffalo Sabres. Coming off a 3-0 shutout of the New Jersey Devils in their season opener on Thursday night, the Penguins are to get an early jump on Eastern Conference opponents while the Sabres are looking for their first win of the season.
When and where: Consol Energy Center (Pittsburgh, PA); 7:00 pm/et (Root Sports, MSG-B)
Records: Penguins (1-0-0, 2 pts.); Sabres (0-2-0, 0 pts.)
Last meeting: The last time the Penguins and Sabres saw one another was April 23rd of last season. The Sabres won that contest, 4-2, ending the Penguins’ seven-game winning streak in the process. Thomas Vanek haunted Pittsburgh, scoring three points (2G, 1A), while Ryan Miller stopped forty of forty-two Penguin shots to pick-up his sixteenth victory of the season.
Players to keep an eye on:
1. Thomas Vanek: As you saw previously, Thomas Vanek has caused some problems for the Penguins lately. The two times the Penguins and Sabres met last season, Vanek totaled five points (3G, 2A), and is on a three-game goal-scoring streak against Pittsburgh.
2. The duo of Evgeni Malkin and Jussi Jokinen: Since these two were put together on the second line during the preseason, they have shown some excellent chemistry. Beau Bennett is expected to join Malkin and Jokinen tonight, and should fit right in on the second line.
Penguins: G Tomas Vokoun (blood clot), D Kris Letang (lower body), LW James Neal (upper body), RW Matt D’Agostini (lower body)
Sabres: LW Marcus Foligno (shoulder), RW Corey Tropp (jaw), D Nikita Zadorov (finger), LW Ville Leino (fractured rib), D Henrik Tallinder (upper body), G Ryan Miller (lower body)
-Game number 800 in Pascal Dupuis’ career.
-James Neal is said to be more “week to week” than “day to day.”
-The Sabres are doing the co-captain thing, alternating between Steve Ott and Vanek depending on whether the team is home or on the road. Ott will wear the “C’ tonight.
Penguins (via penguins.nhl.com)
14 Chris Kunitz-87 Sidney Crosby (C)-9 Pascal Dupuis
36 Jussi Jokinen-71 Evgeni Malkin (A)-19 Beau Bennett
17 Dustin Jeffrey-16 Brandon Sutter-12 Chuck Kobasew
15 Tanner Glass-46 Joe Vitale-27 Craig Adams
44 Brooks Orpik (A)-7 Paul Martin
4 Rob Scuderi-2 Matt Niskanen
3 Olli Maatta/5 Deryk Engelland-41 Robert Bortuzzo
29 Marc-Andre Fleury (1-0-0, 1.000 save %, 0.00 GAA, 1 SO)
Sabres (via dailyfaceoff.com):
26 Thomas Vanek (A)-19 Cody Hodgson-21 Drew Stafford
63 Tyler Ennis-22 Johan Larsson-9 Steve Ott (C)
28 Zemgus Girgensons-25 Mikhail Grigorenko-65 Brian Flynn
8 Cody McCormick-12 Kevin Porter-36 Patrick Kaleta
10 Christian Ehrhoff (A)-53 Mark Pysyk
4 Jamie McBain-57 Tyler Myers
6 Mike Weber-55 Rasmus Ristolainen
1 Jhonas Enroth (First start of the season)