After a crucial win against Washington, the Sabres couldn’t come out on top against Pittsburgh. Sidney Crosby’s four points led the Penguins over Buffalo by a 5-3 score Friday night at the First Niagara Center.
The game was close throughout, but the Sabres were unable to capitalize on scoring chances toward the end of the game. Pittsburgh goaltender Brent Johnson recovered from a rough start and stopped 25 of 28 shots to secure the victory.
The Sabres never led, and because of the loss, they no longer control their destiny. With four games remaining, the Sabres need Washington to miss out on at least one point. The Sabres couldn’t contain Crosby and Evgeni Malkin as the two combined for six points on the night.
Buffalo had a power play opportunity late in the third period, but couldn’t finish off close chances. Brooks Orpik scored an empty net goal to seal the win and spoil the Sabres’ fan appreciation night.
Ryan Miller finished the night with 29 saves on 33 shots and earned the loss.
The Penguins struck first as Evgeni Malkin recorded his 48th goal of the season. The Sabres responded as Jordan Leopold knocked the puck past Brent Johnson, knotting the game at one. The goal was Leopold’s 9th of the season and first in 25 games.
Pittsburgh came back and this time it was Sidney Crosby lighting the lamp. The Penguins forward was pounded with boo’s from the crowd when his goal was announced. Assisting on the goal was Pascal Dupuis, who increased his point streak to 13 games.
Once again, the Sabres responded. Tyler Ennis took a shot from the side boards, and it went in. The Sabres fell to 8-1-3 when Ennis scores a goal this season and 14-2-5 when he records a point.
Jason Pominville has recorded at least one point in 31 of 40 home games this season
The Sabres will head to Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs Saturday night. That game will conclude a league high of 21 sets of back-to-back games.