After two games, the Pittsburgh Penguins have two victories after defeating the Buffalo Sabres, 4-1, on Saturday night. Pittsburgh was led by the same faces that led them to their season-opening win on Thursday. After three games, the Sabres are still looking, not only for their first win, but their first point of the year.
This game had similar elements to their first game against the Devils on Thursday night. The Penguins jumped on the board in the first period about three and a half minutes into the game when Buffalo failed to clear the front of the net, allowing Sidney Crosby to jump on his own rebound and give Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead. About ten minutes later, Brandon Sutter found himself at the point and blasted a shot on Jhonas Enroth. On its way to the net, Chuck Kobasew got a piece of the shot, and deflected it behind Enroth to put the Penguins up 2-0. Pittsburgh took their two-goal lead into the locker room, while also leading the Sabres in shots, 11-9.
Much like Thursday night, the second period was a lull. The Penguins outshot Buffalo, 10-5, and had two power plays that didn’t amount to anything. So let’s move on.
Pittsburgh still had the same two-goal lead that they had at the end of the first period as they entered the third period. At10:09 of the period, something was finally different from Thursday night as Chris Kunitz was awarded a penalty shot after being ridden by Mike Weber. There wasn’t a lot of obstruction going on, but it looks like officials have been told to award more penalty shots. So, Kunitz took his penalty shot one-on-one against Enroth, and was able to squeeze the puck between the pads of the Buffalo goaltender. With less than five minutes remaining in the game, it was starting to look as if Marc-Andre Fleury was going to grab his second shutout in as many games. However, a poor clearing attempt by Paul Martin allowed Buffalo to make it a 3-1 game after Thomas Vanek deflected a shot from Cody Hodgson for his first goal of the season. That’s all the closer the Sabres would get as Craig Adams continued his eighty-two goal-scoring pace with an empty netter at 18:15 to close out the game and give Pittsburgh the 4-1 victory.
The Penguins have the next two days off before they take on the Carolina Hurricanes and the Staals on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh (7:00 pm/et, Root Sports).
-If it wasn’t for Jhonas Enroth, this game could’ve gotten really ugly.
-Olli Maatta looked better than he did in his first game, made a very Gonchar-esque move at the blue line at one point.
-Evgeni Malkin tried to score on his stomach/side.
-Thomas Vanek has now scored a goal in four straight games against the Penguins.
1. C Sidney Crosby (1G)
2. G Marc-Andre Fleury (20 saves, .952 save %)
3. LW Chris Kunitz (1G)