The Buffalo Sabres, who reached the 8th playoff spot in their last game versus the Minnesota Wild, will have to push a little harder to sustain their position, earning zero points tonight after a loss against the Penguins.
With key players such as Thomas Vanek, Jochen Hecht, Mike Grier, and Patrick Kaleta out with injuries (minus Vanek who has the flu) the team made the decision to call up Mark Parrish and Luke Adam to join the game tonight. Miller returned to goal after sitting Sunday’s game out.
Rob Niedermayer opened the scoring with his second goal of the season, assisted by Tyler Myers, 2:47 into the game. The Sabres strong defense held off any opportunity by Pittsburgh, finishing up the first period with a 1-0 lead.
Pittsburgh, who has also been plagued with injuries this season, scored early into the second to tie the game at one. Minutes later, Zbynek Michalek scored his first goal of the season, a 62 foot slapshot that blasted through Miller, pulling the Penguins ahead 2-1.
Mark Letestu scored late in the third locking in a Pittsburgh win at 3-1, their first regulation win in over a month.
Marc-André Fleury proved too hard to beat as he stopped 29 of 30 shots tonight, while Ryan Miller stopped only 28 of the 31 he faced. Pittsburgh has officially won all four of their games this season versus Buffalo. This was the final game between the two teams.
Andrej Sekera’s 5 game multi-point streak ended with the Sabres loss tonight, although contributing three shots, he ended the game -1.
Buffalo is now 3-1-1 on their 7 game road trip. It’s the Sabres first loss under new owner, Terry Pegula. The Sabres head to Boston on Thursday, followed by Toronto on Saturday before returning home.