NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at Buffalo |
(Saturday, December 17th)
Final Score: Buffalo 4, Pittsburgh 3
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Martin Biron made 30 saves, including a big
stop towards the end of the game, and extended a franchise-record by winning
his 13th consecutive start, as Buffalo held off Pittsburgh, 4-3, at HSBC
Maxim Afinogenov had a goal and two assists for the Sabres, who have won their
last six games and swept Pittsburgh in the home-and-home series after
defeating the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Friday in overtime by the same score.
Chris Drury, Adam Mair, and Jason Pominville all scored for the Sabres,
winners in 11 of their last 12 contests.
Michel Ouellet and Tomas Surovy each had a goal and an assist, and Sidney
Crosby added the other goal for the Penguins, who have lost their last four
games and 10 of 11.
Jocelyn Thibault had 25 saves in the defeat, which was the Penguins' second
game under new head coach Michel Therrien. He was given the job on Thursday
after Ed Olczyk was relieved of his duties.
Mario Lemieux stayed in Pittsburgh for the contest after suffering a
recurrence of his irregular heartbeat condition during Friday's game. The star
center had missed the previous four games after being diagnosed with atrial
fibrillation on December 7. The condition can cause the heart to beat rapidly.
Pittsburgh got a goal quickly in the last period to make it a 4-2 game.
Ouellet snapped a backhander from the slot that went over Biron's glove just
24 seconds in.
The Penguins continued to outplay the Sabres throughout the period and made it
a one-goal game at the 9:43 mark. Ryan Whitney threw a shot on net from the
left point that Biron made a pad save on. However, the puck went into the slot
and Surovy banged it in for first goal of the season.
Pittsburgh pulled its goaltender towards the end and Surovy had the puck right
on the doorstep with an open net. However, Biron flopped his glove down to
stop the shot and preserve the victory for Buffalo.
"Every single play is always different," said Biron. "The puck took a weird
bounce out there and I just kind of threw my arm back. I was fortunate enough
to make the save in front of the line this time."
Biron's 13-game winning streak is the longest in the NHL since Detroit's Chris
Osgood turned the trick, January 30 - March 20, 1996.
"There was disappointment," said Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff. "We turned in a 37
minute out of about 40 minutes of performance. The last 23 minutes we turned
into a very casual hockey team that let them back in the game and almost lost
us the game."
The Sabres scored two goals separated by 3:14 to take a quick 2-0 lead in the
opening period. Afinogenov threw a pass from the right boards to Mair in the
slot. His one-timer went past Thibault's right leg for his second goal of the
season at the 3:32 mark. Later, Afinogenov came in on a 2-on-1, opted to shoot
the puck and flipped it over Thibault's right shoulder to give the Sabres a
Crosby cut the score to 2-1 after making a nice move to get past Jay McKee
and snapping a wrister that went into the right corner of the net with 9:10
left in the opening period.
However, Buffalo regained its two-goal advantage late in the opening period.
Afinogenov fired a pass from the right circle to Pominville in the slot.
Pominville's one-timer went into the left corner of the net for his third goal
of the year with 1:45 left.
The Sabres increased their lead with a power-play tally in the second period.
Drury had the puck behind the right side of the net, but was unable to find an
open man. Instead, he threw it out front and the puck bounced off of Josef
Melichar's skate and into the net for the only goal of the second.
The Penguins have off until Friday when they host the Flyers...Buffalo travels
to Philadelphia for a matchup on Monday...Buffalo went 2-for-6 with the man
advantage...The Penguins failed to score on any of their three power play
opportunities...Buffalo is 14-1-1 over its last 16 games.
12/18 01:40:42 ET