Buffalo 6 – Pittsburgh 2
Coming off an impressive 6-4 divisional win over the Philadelphia Flyers Saturday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Penguins (33-21-5, 71 pts) did not come to play Sunday afternoon vs the Buffalo Sabres (25-27-7, 57 pts), falling to the Sabres 6-2 at the First Niagra Center.
Pittsburgh which fell behind 3-0, were plagued by defensive woes, subpar goaltending and undisciplined play.
Deryk Roy scored twice and added an assist for the Sabres and Jason Pominville had a goal and two assists, while Ryan Miller made 22 saves, including breakaway stops on Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal in the second period. Paul Gaustad, Drew Stafford and Tyler Ennis also scored for Buffalo.
Jason Pominville (23) and Derek Roy (12) scored first period goals and Buffalo took a 3-0 lead 2:52 into the second period on Paul Gaustad’s 7th goal of the season, as the Sabres chased goaltender Brent Johnson who gave up 3 goals on 12 shots.
After two encouraging starts, Johnson has now been pulled inÂ three of his last five starts. Marc Andre Fleury made 9 saves on 12 shots in relief of Johnson.
After falling down 3-0 early, Pittsburgh got some life when Deryk Engelland (3) scored his 3rd goal of the season (first in 22 games) at 3:39 of the second period.
Marc Andre Fleury was strong in the second period and Pittsburgh got within one goal early in the third period when Jordan Staal netted his 19th goal of the season, 5:05 into the third period, cutting Buffalo’s lead to 3-2. Staal has 7 goals in his last 10 games.
The Sabres though responded quickly and Drew Stafford scored a 1:05 later giving the Sabres a 4-2 lead and from there Pittsburgh came up with a lazy defensive effort in the third period as Buffalo scored three unanswered goals for a three goal period.
Notes:Paul Martin was awful in the game and a minus-4 on the day. Defenseman Kris Letang was also a minus-4 in the loss…..Joe Vitale was a team-best 8 of 9 in the faceoff circle. Evgeni Malkin assisted on Deryk Englelland’s second period goal for his 71st point of the season…..Ben Lovejoy and Cal O’Reilly were healthy scratches…..