Pittsburgh Penguins Sink the Buffalo Sabres Again
It's what so often happens in the NHL when good teams and wannabe's get together. And it's so typical of the kinds of things that happen when the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins face off.
Tuesday night at KeyBank Center the Sabres and Penguins played a tight-checking defensive game and were tied a 1-1 until late in the game when the Penguins scored off a broken play to take the lead and went on to beat the Sabres 3-1.
Robin Lehner was spectacular in stopping 31 of 34 shots including four breakaways, but it's always the little mistakes that kill the Sabres. The Peguins first goal was a combination of Sydney Crosby's talent and the Sabres reluctance to lay a body on him. On the power play Crosby skated from his own end, waltzed past all four Buffalo defenders and scored on the backhand over a surprised Lehner. That goal gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead with only eight seconds left in the first period and spoiled what had been a good effort by the Sabres.
The Sabres got that one back early in the third period when Sam Reinhart scored on the rebound of his own shot to tie the game 1-1. But with five and a half minutes to play Lehner couldn't see a shot from Nick Bonino until it was in the net.
The Penguins had the lead, but the Sabres were still in it until for the second time in a week the Sabres scored into their own net. Lehner stopped a shot but the rebound deflected off the stick of Zemgus Girgensons into the net and the Sabres were finished.
Still, it comes down to the Sabres inability to score goals that kills them. They've scored just five goals in the last six games and that just won't do it.
The Sabres get a bit of a break on the schedule. They're off until Saturday when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs.