NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Pittsburgh
(Saturday, December 17th)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 8, Buffalo 3
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Evgeni Malkin netted his seventh career hat trick and added two assists in Pittsburgh's 8-3 victory over Buffalo.
Despite Penguins captain Sidney Crosby still sidelined due to post-concussion syndrome, the hosts scored three times in the game's first 10 minutes on Saturday and snapped a two-game skid. The Penguins, who lost to Buffalo in the Steel City on October 15, beat the Sabres for the seventh time in the last eight meetings.
Deryk Engelland, Chris Kunitz, Jason Williams, James Neal and Simon Despres also lit the lamp for Pittsburgh.
Marc-Andre Fleury, who made 16 saves, became just the second goaltender in franchise history to reach 200 wins, joining Tom Barrasso (226).
Thomas Vanek, Paul Gaustad and Luke Adam were the scorers for the Sabres, who lost for the third time in four contests.
Ryan Miller allowed three goals on seven shots before being lifted in favor of Jhonas Enroth in the first period. Enroth gave up a goal in the first and two in the third. Miller ended allowing five scores on 15 shots.
"It wasn't close to good hockey on my part," Miller said.
Williams netted his first goal in a Penguins uniform in just his third game with the club on a blast from the blue line 2:17 into the contest.
Despres tallied on the power play for his first NHL goal, 6:07 into the opening period when he let go a one-timer from the right circle.
Malkin finished the opening flurry with a successful snap shot from the slot at the 9:43 mark.
"We did a great job tonight," Malkin said. "You saw how we started."
Vanek scored just over three minutes later, but a backhander from the right circle from Malkin got through the legs of Enroth with 2 1/2 minutes remaining in the first.
Neal capitalized on the power play 53 seconds into second with a one-timer from the right circle and a left circle blast from Engelland made it 6-1 with 2:06 left in the middle stanza.
Goals from Adam and Gaustad less than two minutes apart midway through the third made it a three-goal margin, but Malkin completed his hat trick with 8:17 left. On the power play, Malkin put in a rebound by Enroth.
Kunitz scored less than two minutes later.
The Penguins have gone 9-2-1 in their last 13 home games against the Sabres...Fleury (27 years, 19 days) also became the fourth-youngest netminder in the expansion era (since 1967-68) to reach 200 victories, trailing only Grant Fuhr (26 years, 122 days), Martin Brodeur (26 years, 343 days) and Barrasso(26 years, 354 days)...Malkin and Neal each have five-game point streaks...Pittsburgh's eight goals is a season-best.
12/18 00:33:16 ET