Christmas came a week or two early for the Buffalo Sabres and Thomas Vanek on December 8th, 2008 in Pittsburgh. The Sabres were paying a visit to the Penguins inside Mellon Arena, a stadium where Buffalo had not won in three trips to.
For the first half of the game, it seemed that the streak would extend to four losses in a row at Mellon. Ruslan Fedotenko opened the scoring nearly midway through the first period, and would score again for the second time in the game with less than five minutes remaining in the period.
In between Fedotenko’s tallies came an unassisted goal by Derek Roy, which allowed the Sabres to go into the first intermission down only 2-1.
That reasonable deficit didn’t last long. The Sabres put themselves at serious risk by taking a multitude of penalties over the course of the game (eight in all), the most glaring coming early in the second period where they on the wrong end of a 5-on-3. Kris Letang made sure that the Penguins took advantage, and scored his first goal of the season to put Pittsburgh ahead 3-1.
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