Can't help but think of this every time you play Buffalo. They're still jammed up about it to this day.
The Pens traveled to Buffalo after two pretty embarrassing showings against the Isles. The Sabres are red hot so you couldn't help but feel the Pens were gonna get smoked in this game. But that didn't happen. The Pens swung, Buffalo swung back and the Pens took it on the chin and game back and delivered two quick hay makers. Buffalo tried to come back but the Pens weren't having it. Brent Johnson turned in a solid performance and the Pens defense show up when they needed it most and they held on for a huge win.
The Pens were aided by the return of Matt Niskanen and Joe Vitale. Whoever thought we'd be typing that this season.
Pens went on the power play early. Almost 4 minutes in Geno gets a pass from Steve Sullivan, walks in and the initial save was made by Miller and Geno gathered his own rebound to make it 1-0 Pens. Geno's 48th goal of the season. Buffalo tied it up less than 3 minutes later. The puck was shot at Johnson, all of Buffalo jumped on him and somehow the puck went in and former Penguin Jordan Leopold got credit for the goal. Apparently goalie interference is legal now. If it was Chris Kunitz the goal would have been waved off. Is there anyone in the league who has a goalie's number more than Sidney Crosby has Ryan Miller's? Probably not. Crosby got the puck down low and went 5 hole on Miller. 2-1 Pens. Could probably make a decently long highlight video of all the times Crosby schooled Ryan Miller. Once again the Sabres answered quick. 3 foot 2 Tyler Ennis came down the wing and threw a pretty harmless shot towards Brent Johnson and it beat him pretty easily. Johnson should have saved it. 2-2 after 1.
The Pens went to work in the 2nd period. After killing off a Matt Cooke boarding penalty they got a power play of their own but couldn't do anything with it. They got another a few minutes later and cashed in. Crosby skated down the left wing and threw a sick pass through 4 players right to the tape of James Neal. Money. 3-2 Pens. Crosby wasn't done yet. Crosby was down around the goal line and threw a no look drop pass to Pascal Dupuis who tried putting it on net but it was block but the puck made it's way to Steve Sullivan who chipped it past emo Miller to make it 4-2 Pens. Nasty nasty pass by Sid. Buffalo would get one back when the Pens tried clearing it and the puck hit a something on the glass and bounced right to Tomas Vanek in front. Beej had no chance. 4-3. The end of the period would be delayed for a while after the puck broke a piece of glass that took a while to fix. The teams went to the locker room and came back out and finished the period. Nothing happened.
What. A. Period. If you want to watch what hockey should look like watch the 3rd period of this game. Both teams we're going balls to the wall. The Pens trying to pad their lead and hang on to the lead and Buffalo trying to tie it. Both teams had unlimited chances but both goalies were making big time saves. Johnny came up huge for the Pens on multiple occasions. The biggest being Pascal Dupuis having a breakaway from center ice and tried going top shelf but emo Miller made the save. With 2:21 left in the 3rd Malkin tried clearing the puck but shot it over the glass. Horrible time to take a penalty. The Pens PK which hadn't been stellar over the past few games had to go to work. Buffalo got a few chances but Beej and the Pens PK slammed the door. They killed the penalty and Staal would ice the game by adding an empty netter to give the Pens a 5-3 win.
1. Sidney Crosby
2. Tomas Vanek
3. Steve Sullivan
Huge game Sunday when the Flyers come to town. Probably the biggest game this season. Probably a must win too.