This live blog is brought to you by the top two scorers in the league on the Pens , Malkin and Crosby, and a squeaked out victory against the Bolts. Also by pink lemonade.........I don't care that it is pink and quite possibly the most feminine of all drinks, I likes it and it is delicious.
The Sabres are in a tough spot but get a little bit of a break since the Pens are playing Dany Sabourin at goalie in lieu of the injured stalwart Marc-André Fleury.
In only took 3 minutes for Max Afinogenov to have his first turnover of the game on a stupid spin pass down the ice......not bad Max!
First penalty of the game = too many men on the ice. Ugh. Just what we need is undisciplined penalties against Crosby, Malkin and Staal all on the same PP line. Crosby had a beautiful fake slapshot pass to the slot, but the Pens were thwarted by the post and the Sabres survived the first PK of the evening.
First PP of the game coming up for the Sabres after little Nathan Gerbe touches up. Gerbe also playing on the 2nd PP line with Clarke MacArthur and Paul Gaustad. I like throwing him into the fire right away. It shows some confidence in him and gives him a true sense of the NHL right away.
No dice on the PP for the Sabres and the Pens come back strong and score on a sick backhand pass from Malkin across the crease to Ruslan Fedotenko after pulling it from the forehand. Wow.....
Derek Roy kept to the defensive plan and grabbed a lazy pass in the neutral zone and lit the lamp with a wrister far side past Sabourin. We are definitely seeing some fast paced action and should expect to see more as the game goes by because apparently neither team can stop the opportunities from coming.
Nathan Gerbe choked on a 2 on 1 opportunity by passing into traffic instead of taking the open shot. Shortly afterward, Malkin struck again with another slick pass to Fedontenko to make it a 2-1 contest. We have to make the smart play to get a scoring opportunity there instead of wasting a perfectly good chance.
Pittsburgh will be a man up to close out the first after a sloppy penalty by Pominville........and Vanek takes another undisciplined penalty in the Pens zone. Sekera gets a nice save on the brief 5 on 3 PP and the period comes to a close with a 2-1 lead for the hometown Penguins.
Jochen Hecht starts off the period with a tripping penalty to create an extended 5 on 3 for Crosby & Co. The other half of the Pens powerhouse duo (Crosby) makes a cross ice pass to Kris Letang who gets his first tally of the season to make it a 3-1 game. Crosby and Malkin are killing us with those passes tonight......
Ryan Miller just had a beauty of a save on a Crosby breakaway backhand shot to keep the game close. every so often we see why Miller is considered to be a top echelon goaltender.....
Ales Kotalik stuffs in a rebound off of a shot from the circle to bring the game to 3-2 and that Miller save seems even more important now that we are in a one goal game.
Vanek takes a penalty in the offensive zone and it gets compounded by a bench minor to create a full 2 minute two man advantage for Pittsburgh. Let's see if we get lucky.......and we do so on some nice saves by Miller and a couple of long clears to dodge a serious bullet.
Yes! Buffalo ties the game on pass to net by Craig Rivet and Danny Paille whacks in a trash goal, but they all count the same on the scoreboard. This game is certainly lacking in defense......
Miller steals another one from the Pens on a backhand stab on a soft Miro Satan sliding shot.....
Thomas Vanek crosses the 20 goal marker and extends his league leading total on a pass from Jason Pominville beating Dany Sabourin, who couldn't get across the crease in time to stop the go ahead goal.
The Sabres get their second chance on the PP on a hooking call.......and no dice there.
Pittsburgh is trying to tie the game back up following a Nathan Gerbe high sticking call and after unsuccessful after a solid PK. Miller had some good saves and the Sabres even had a nice short handed opportunities.
The Pens are in scramble mode now awaiting the right time to pull Sabourin for the extra attacker......and they do with about a minute left in the game. After a couple missed opportunities at the empty net, the Pens get a faceoff in the zone after a high stick. A close call at the end with the puck heading in the net a full second after the end of the game and Buffalo holds on a for a momentum building win!