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Game 40: Penguins lose second straight; Staal to learn Team Canada fate

Buffalo 4 – Pittsburgh 3
The Pittsburgh Penguins blew a 3-0 lead as the Buffalo Sabres scored four unanswered goals to defeat the Penguins 4-3 Tuesday night.
Jordan Staal (11), Bill Guerin (12) and Chris Kunitz (6) scored for the Penguins, who squandered a three-goal lead for the first time since a 5-3 loss at Nashville on January 8, 2009.
Pittsburgh dominated for the first 30 minutes of the game but a turning point in the game was a Drew Stafford penalty shot goal at 12:46 of the second period.

Stafford would add another goal and assist on Paul Gaustad’s goal as the Sabres tied the game at 3-3.
Jason Pominville scored with 9:05 left to complete the Sabres’ rally in the third as goaltender Patrick Lalime came in relief of Ryan Miller to make 27 saves and close the door on Pittsburgh.
Losers of two straight, the players were somewhat frustrated with the calls after the game, especially the penalty shot opportunity given to the Sabres as defenseman Jay McKee claimed he didn’t put his hand on the puck while in the crease
“A three-goal lead and we didn’t put it away. That’s what happens when you let teams hang around,” Penguins star center Sidney Crosby said. “We worked pretty hard and probably deserved better, ” Crosby added.
Pittsburgh outshot Buffalo 38-24 on the night as the Penguins are now 1-3 in their last four games.
Pittsburgh travels to New Jersey Wednesday night for a showdown with the first place Devils. Pittsburgh is 0-3 against New Jersey this season.
Winger Pascal Dupuis has exceeded expectations this season scoring 9 goals and 6 assists this season. Dupuis has been rewarded with extensive minutes alongside Sidney Crosby of late.
Tonight he made a text book play on Chris Kunitz second period goal, driving to the net in what is termed a “center drive” as Crosby fed Kunitz with a pass in the high slot and Dupuis created a screen on Ryan Miller who could not get a good eye on the puck.
Kennedy returns to lineup
As expected Tyler Kennedy returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch Sunday night. Kennedy responded, assisting on Jordan Staal’s first period tally, 4:08 into the game.
Stock Up – RW Bill Guerin
*Guerin scored his 12th goal of the season tonight and has 8 points in his last 7 games.
Stock Down – D Alex Goligoski
* A plus/minus rating of minus-3 in his last 6 games. Goligoski has had some defensive short-comings of late.
Meanwhile his offensive game is struggling as the talented defenseman is goal less in 15 games.
Fedotenko a healthy scratch
Forward Ruslan Fedotenko was a healthy scratch against Buffalo. The decision didn’t have everything to do with his inconsistent play in the offensive zone.
Sources tell me the decision to scratch Fedotenko was based on his inability to pay attention to the details in the defensive zone.
Fedotenko has a team worst plus/minus rating of minus-6.
Staal hasn’t learned Team Canada Fate yet
Team Canada will announce their Olympic roster on Wednesday and one of the finalist for the 13th forward spot is Jordan Staal.
Staal has been heavily scouted of late but has not been informed of a decision to this point as to whether he has made the roster or not.
Tomorrow will be a nervous day for him.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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