PITTSBURGH 4 – BUFFALO 1
Sidney Crosby (2) and Chuck Kobasew (2) each scored first period goals for the second straight game and Marc Andre Fleury stopped 20 of 21 shots, leading the Pittsburgh Penguins (2-0-0, 4 pts) to a 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres (0-3-0, 0 pts) on Saturday night at the Consol Energy Center.
Chris Kunitz (1, penalty shot) and Craig Adams (2, empty net) added third period goals. Marc Andre Fleury looked to be on his way a second straight shutout but Thomas Vanek scored with 4:54 left in regulation to end Fleury’s shutout bid.
The Penguins improve to 2-0-0 for the third straight season while the Sabres fell to 0-3.
The Penguins outshot the Sabres 35-21 in the win.
The top storyline again for the Penguins is the team showing a commitment to defense and an improved defensive structure.
“I like the way our team has played defense,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said afterwards.
The Penguins limited the Sabres to just 21 shots and Buffalo had just 14 shots after two periods. “I think we’re pretty good as far as our structure defensively,” Sidney Crosby said. “That’s usually something that takes a little more time, but I think we’ve looked pretty comfortable with the way we need to play defensively.” We didn’t allow a lot of shots against, too and that’s a big thing.
One improvement for the Penguins continues to be converging to the front of their net and they are really clogging the middle and not getting out of their defensive lanes.
Not to take anything away from the Penguins, but this was a Sabres team with only one scoring threat line and it was clear last night that the talent advantage Pittsburgh has over Buffalo is just significant. “We didn’t generate a lot,” Sabres coach Ron Rolston said. The Sabres have just two goals on the season.
The Penguins dominated that game like they should have and it easily could have been a 6 or 7-1 Penguins win.