NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, October 5th
(All times Eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (0-2-0) at Pittsburgh Penguins (1-0-0), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - A lack of offense has put the Buffalo Sabres in danger
of posting their worst start to a season in 13 years.
The Sabres try to avoid a third straight loss on Saturday night, but must do
so against the talented Pittsburgh Penguins.
Buffalo has been held to just one goal in its first two games, handed a pair
of losses despite 77 saves from Ryan Miller. The Sabres were bested 2-1 in
Detroit on Wednesday, then dropped a 1-0 home decision on Friday night to the
Miller posted the second-highest single-game save total of his career with 45
stops, including 23 in the first period, but the Sens finally got one past
him with 1:35 to play.
"It's not a fun way to lose, especially in our opener. We wanted more energy
and try to create some confidence here. We're going to make some mistakes and
come together as a team. It would have been nice to kind of grind one out and
get an ugly one," said Miller, who made a career-best 48 saves versus Toronto
on Jan. 8, 2010.
The Sabres did log 35 shots in the loss, but failed on all four power-play
chances and are 0-for-11 on the man advantage this season.
"We made it extremely difficult on Ryan," said defenseman Mike Weber. "He
showed us tonight why he is one of the best goaltenders in the world. It's
discouraging because I feel like we let him down."
Despite Miller's efforts, the Sabres are in position to go winless in three
straight to begin the season for the first time since 1999-2000, when the club
went 0-5 with a pair of ties.
The Penguins, meanwhile, are looking for their third straight 2-0 start after
beginning the season with Thursday's 3-0 win over New Jersey.
It was a much-needed opener for Pens goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who posted
27 saves in his 24th career shutout and 250th win.
Fleury struggled last postseason and lost his starting job to Tomas Vokoun,
but is the undisputed No. 1 right now as Vokoun is slated to miss 3-to-6
months to recover from a surgical procedure to dissolve a blood clot.
"You always want a win to start the season and this was a good way to start
it," said Fleury. "But it's obvious that this was just one game and we've got
a long way to go here."
Chuck Kobasew, Sidney Crosby and Craig Adams all scored for the Penguins, who
are also without forward James Neal indefinitely due to an upper-body injury.
The Sabres won two of three over the Penguins last season, with both victories
coming in Pittsburgh.
10/05 10:28:13 ET