NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, December 22nd
(All times eastern)
Pittsburgh Penguins (17-11-4) at Buffalo Sabres (16-13-4), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Penguins will aim for just their third win
in eight games when they visit the Buffalo Sabres for this evening's battle
at HSBC Arena.
The Penguins are 2-5-0 in their last seven outings and are coming off
Saturday's lopsided loss to visiting Toronto. Pittsburgh has been
inconsistent and hasn't won back-to-back tests since a six-game winning
streak from November 1-15
Pittsburgh has also fallen to fourth place in the Atlantic Division with 38
points. The Penguins are now seventh in the Eastern Conference playoff
standings. Buffalo is ninth in the East with 36 points.
The Maple Leafs handed the Pens a 7-3 thrashing Saturday at Mellon Arena.
Nik Antropov had a goal and two assists to lead Toronto to the easy win.
Petr Sykora scored twice for the Penguins in the losing effort. Sykora has
10 points (5 goals, 5 assists) over his last four contests. Evgeni Malkin
also added a goal and an assist to extend his point streak to eight games.
Malkin is leading the NHL with 55 points on 15 goals and 40 assists.
Marc-Andre Fleury started in net, but was pulled after two periods as he
gave up five goals on 33 shots. Dany Sabourin played the third period and
gave up two goals on seven shots.
The Penguins have lost five of their last seven road games and are 9-6-2 as
the visiting team this season.
Buffalo has lost three of its last five contests, but did earn a point its
last time out. The Sabres were dealt a 4-3 overtime loss Saturday night in
Montreal as Alex Kovalev scored the game-winning goal with just 25 seconds
left in the extra session.
Andrej Sekera, Derek Roy and Clarke MacArthur scored for the Sabres, who had
a three-game road win streak snapped. Jason Pominville picked up his 17th
assist, and Ryan Miller made 42 saves in the loss.
Roy has recorded a point in nine straight contests and has five goals and
eight assists in that span.
The Sabres have a 9-8-1 record at home this year and are playing three of
their remaining four December games in western New York.
Buffalo has won two of three against the Penguins this season, but Pittsburgh
has taken seven of 10 meetings overall in the series. The Pens have dropped
five of their last eight at HSBC Arena.
12/22 10:45:01 ET