NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Pittsburgh|
(Tuesday, March 13th)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 5, Buffalo 4 (SO)
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Sidney Crosby's goal in the third round of
the shootout sent Pittsburgh to a 5-4 win over Buffalo at Mellon Arena.
Crosby had a goal and two assists in regulation for the Penguins, winners in
four of their last five. Sergei Gonchar added a goal and an assist, Ryan
Whitney had three helpers, and Maxime Talbot and Ryan Malone also scored.
Marc-Andre Fleury made just 15 saves for his 33rd win of the year.
"We deserved to win tonight," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "I think
we had the right attitude starting the game and it was a good hockey game
and we deserved to win. It was the No. 1 team in the conference. It was a huge
The win capped a big day for the Penguins, who announced earlier an agreement
with city, county and state officials for the financing of a new arena that
will keep the club in the Steel City for the next 30 years.
At a cost of $290 million, the new building will be constructed across the
street from Mellon Arena, home to the Pens since the team's 1967 inception.
Team officials expect the new arena to be ready for the start of the 2009-2010
season. The club will play at Mellon until then on a short-term lease
Daniel Briere recorded a goal and two assists for the Sabres, who have lost
four straight games as injuries to five regulars have taken their toll. Jason
Pominville and Chris Drury picked up a goal and one assist each, and Dmitri
Kalinin also tallied in defeat.
"We're a team that relies on speed," Briere said. "Tonight, we didn't move
our legs. We obviously become very vulnerable and that's what got us in
Ryan Miller stopped 34 shots in regulation but gave up two goals on three
shots in the shootout to take the loss.
Crosby, the NHL's scoring leader, used multiple stick fakes on his shootout
chance, stuffing the puck into the net after pulling Miller all the way across
the crease. Thomas Vanek followed for the Sabres, but his try was muted by
Fleury, who closed his pads on the shot.
The win moved Pittsburgh within one point of fourth-seed Ottawa in the Eastern
Conference playoff race. With a point in the shootout loss, Buffalo moves two
points ahead of New Jersey in the race for top seed in the East.
Deadlocked after two periods, Crosby put the Pens ahead, 3-2, at 1:18 of the
third. Mark Recchi and Evgeni Malkin accompanied the young forward on a power-
play rush, and Recchi's floater from the high slot found Crosby in front, and
he chipped the puck right under the crossbar.
The lead was boosted to 4-2 midway through the period when Gonchar's left
point blast hit a body in front and deflected past Miller on the short side.
However, Buffalo responded with 7:14 to play, as Briere took a pass from
Jochen Hecht inside the Pittsburgh blue line, broke in on Fleury and
scored with a snapshot high on the right side.
Buffalo then shocked the capacity crowd with a goal only 7.1 seconds before
the buzzer to tie the game 4-4, after Briere gained control of a wraparound
behind the Penguins' net and fed in front to Drury, who was unmarked in the
Buffalo struck first as Pominville scored with 3:33 to play in the first, but
Pittsburgh responded 41 seconds later when Gonchar's wrister from the right
circle was tipped home by Malone.
Talbot put the Pens ahead 2-1 with 3:27 left in the second on a fluke shot
from a sharp angle on the right side that hit the inside of Miller's right pad
and bounced in.
In a period statistically dominated by the home team, only 1:43 remained when
Kalinin took a Drury feed, wound up and blasted from 35 feet and beat Fleury
cleanly for a 2-2 tie. The Sabres could only muster two shots on net in the
middle period, and were fortunate to enter the third even with the Pens.
Buffalo is 5-1-1 in the last seven matchups between the clubs...The Pens
recorded their first win over the Sabres at home since December,
2003...Buffalo falls to 21-9-3 as the visitor this year, and has won three
of its last four away from home...Pittsburgh outshot Buffalo 15-2 in the
second period and 3-0 in overtime...The Sabres continue their four-game road
trip in Florida on Thursday, and the Penguins head to New Jersey on Wednesday.
03/13 23:28:39 ET