NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, December 29th (All times eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (19-15-2) at Pittsburgh Penguins (19-16-2), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Penguins conclude a four-game homestand tonight when they open the doors of Mellon Arena to the Buffalo Sabres in the front end of a home-and-home set that will include a bit of history.
The Sabres will "host" the Penguins on Tuesday at Ralph Wilson Stadium in New York in the first-ever outdoor NHL game played in the United States. The New Year's Day game is expected to have over 70,000 people in attendance.
The Penguins dropped the first test of their stand last Friday to the Islanders before reeling off two straight wins over the Bruins and Capitals, respectively.
The win over Washington came on Thursday and in overtime, as Sergei Gonchar scored 1:33 into overtime to beat his former team. Gonchar previously spent 10 seasons with Washington from the 1994-95 campaign to 2003-04.
Sidney Crosby set up the play, as he skated with the puck along the crease's edge from right to left, and dished a backhanded pass into the right circle. Gonchar was there to one-time a shot past Olaf Kolzig's glove, as the goaltender was out of position from following Crosby's movement.
Crosby finished with two assists, and Darryl Sydor and Colby Armstrong each had a goal and assist for the Penguins, who are 9-8-2 as the host this year. Sydor's goal forced overtime, and Ty Conklin stopped 22 shots in the win.
Buffalo has followed up a six-game winning streak with back-to-back losses, including a 2-1 shootout setback in New Jersey on Friday. Zach Parise scored the only goal of the shootout to lift the Devils.
After New Jersey's Martin Brodeur used a poke check to stop Ales Kotalik on the first attempt, Parise skated in on Ryan Miller and snapped a shot over the goaltenders right pad.
Brodeur then made a right pad save on a Tim Connolly backhander and used the glove to stop Thomas Vanek to hang on for the win.
Kotalik scored the only goal for the Sabres, while Miller stopped 34 shots.
Buffalo is 8-8-2 on the road this season and Tuesday's game against Pittsburgh is the first of consecutive home games.
These two clubs split four meetings last year, though the Sabres took all four matchups in the 2005-06 campaign. Overall, Buffalo is 7-2 with a tie in the last 10 meetings and 3-1 with a tie in its last five trips to the Steel City.
12/29 10:38:39 ET