PENGUINS TOP-5 PERFORMERS FROM 4-3 WIN OVER SABRES
1. Kris Letang, 3 Assists, 5 SOG, 28:43 TOI
Letang took two crushing hits below his own goal line in the first period as his tendency of holding onto the puck too long continues to make him susceptible to dangerous hits and taking hard blows. Letang, though, was able to shake the hits off and played a masterful second period.
In 4-on-4 play, Letang setup Scott Wilson for a goal to put the Penguins up 2-1, than put the puck on a platter for Phil Kessel after showing great patience at the point and making a cross-ice pass to Kessel for a wide open goal late in the second. Letang finished with two primary assists and one secondary assist.
He has 41 points in his last 38 games.
2. Trevor Daley, 1 Assist, +1, 2 SOG, 18:03 TOI, 61 CF%
Sidney Crosby at 5 v 5 | On the ice for 10 shot attempts, 12 against. Sidney Crosby when on the ice with Trevor Daley | 1 Goals For, 8 shot attempts, 0 against |
Daley was exceptional in the game in all three zones. Daley’s puck retrieval ability was excellent in the Penguins exiting zone and in transition he was one of the few Penguin players who defended well, most due to his closing speed. In the offensive zone Daley’s reads were strong and we’re starting to see some good chemistry between Crosby and Daley on how they read and react to each other when Crosby has the puck down low.
3. Marc Andre Fleury, 24 saves on 27 shots
An .889 save percentage might look like a rough night for Fleury but Fleury was sensational in the first period when Buffalo out-shot Pittsburgh 15-6 and out-chanced the Penguins 13-5. Pittsburgh defensively struggled mightily in defending the neutral zone and in transition. Fleury kept Pittsburgh from going down early and turned aside several high danger scoring opportunities.
4. Scott Wilson, 1 Goal, 1 SOG, 10:15 TOI
Wilson has goals in three straight games and his goal today, 5:28 into the second period, was a turning point in the game. Buffalo had all the momentum in the game and Jack Eichel took a bonehead penalty with the Sabres on the power play and 43 seconds later Wilson took the most of giving a 4-on-4 opportunity with Crosby and buried a feed from from Kris Letang.
Wilson was a soft spot in the zone, stopped the puck than beat Lehner upstairs.
5. Sidney Crosby, 1 Assist, 1 SOG, 20-34 (59% FO), 20:23 TOI
The Penguins opening goal was classic Crosby. He created the zone entry, than retrieved the puck, moved it up top to Trevor Daley and picks up an assist on the goal. Crosby only had one shot on goal and one individual scoring chance but he was good in other areas, like zone entries and in the faceoff circle. Crosby was 7-9 (78%) in offensive zone draws and 8-14 (57%) in d-zone draws.