After back to back wins at home, the Sabres headed into Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins for the third time this year. The teams have split the first two meetings of the season, both with one goal wins.
For a while, it looked as if the Sabres had a chance to take first place in the Conference. With the Capitals winning ten in a row, the Sabres are nine points out of that top spot, with two games in hand.
Mark Letestu scored his first career NHL goal just 47 seconds into the game. Pittsburgh had an early 1-0 on Ryan Miller and the Sabres. The last time these teams met, Miller was pulled by the end of the second period.
Buffalo responded with a tally of their own. On the power play, Derek Roy scored his first goal in 14 games, tying it up at one. About a minute later, the Sabres broke into the Penguins zone with an odd man rush. Thomas Vanek took the pass and put it top shelf to give Buffalo a 2-1 lead.
Tim Kennedy finished off a tic-tac-toe passing play putting the Sabres up 3-1. Just like Buffalo, the Penguins would respond quickly. Sidney Crosby notched his 35th goal of the season, bringing Pittsburgh within one again.
Jordan Staal would help erase the Buffalo’s two goal lead with a goal of his own. It was Staal’s 14th goal of the season, tying the game at three. After trying to clear the puck out of the zone, Myers could not handle the pass, and Crosby was there again. His second goal of the night put the Penguins up 4-3 with three unanswered goals.
Less than a minute later, Crosby completed the hat trick. Pittsburgh took a 5-3 lead at the end of the second period. It was Crosby’s fifth career hat-trick.
With three minutes left in the third, Jason Pominville brought the Sabres back within one with a power play goal. Buffalo had one final opportunity with a power play for the last two minutes of the game. Despite putting on all kinds of pressure, the Sabres could not beat Fleury again.
Pittsburgh held on to defeat the Sabres 5-4.