http://1.cdn.nhle.com/penguins/images/logos/large.png @ http://1.cdn.nhle.com/sabres/images/logos/large.png 7:30 PM
Buffalo: February 3 vs Oilers Loss 3-2
Pittsburgh: February 3 vs Senators Won(OT) 2-1
Rank In Conference:
Buffalo: 16th(8th in Atlantic)
Pittsburgh: 1st(1st in Metropolitan)
Power Play Rankings:
Penalty Kill Rankings:
Buffalo: Moulson(15), Hodgson(14), Ennis(12), Ott(9)
Pittsburgh: Crosby and Kunitz(27), Neal(18), Malkin and Jokinen(16), Letang(10)
Buffalo: Ehrhoff(20), Moulson(18), Hodgson(16), Ennis(15)
Pittsburgh: Crosby(48), Malkin(39), Kunitz(28), Jokinen and Niskanen(25)
Buffalo: Moulson(33), Hodgson(30), Ennis(27), Ehrhoff(24)
Pittsburgh: Crosby(75), Kunitz and Malkin(55), Neal(42), Jokinen(41)
Buffalo: Ruhwedel(+2), McNabb(+1), Adam(EV), Kaleta, Larsson, Sulzer, and D’Agostini(-1)
Pittsburgh: Niskanen(+27), Kunitz(+26), Crosby and Malkin(+12), Neal(+11)
Buffalo: Konopka(73), Scott(72), Foligno(57), Ott(55)
Pittsburgh: Glass(55), Bortuzzo(54), Malkin(48), Engelland(45)
Buffalo: Ennis(129), Moulson(125), Ehrhoff(121), Stafford(111)
Pittsburgh: Crosby(180), Kunitz(157), Neal(136), Malkin(135)
Buffalo: Ott(330), Hodgson(293), Konopka(267), Ennis(156)
Pittsburgh: Crosby(698), Sutter(394), Malkin(231), Vitale(186)
Buffalo: Ott(177), Foligno(146), Weber(136), Girgensons(122)
Pittsburgh: Glass(164), Orpik(135), Kunitz(121), Adams(117)
Buffalo: Weber(85), Ehrhoff(75), Myers(71), McBain(65)
Pittsburgh: Orpik(98), Maata(90), Martin(60), Niskanen(55)
Tonight’s Starting Goaltending Matchup:
Buffalo: Ryan Miller 14-21-3 2.68 GAA .925 SV% 0 SO
Pittsburgh: Marc-Andre Fleury 30-13-1 2.25 GAA .917 SV% 4 SO
Last Meeting: January 27 Penguins Won 3-0
Season Series: Penguins Lead 2-0-0
All-Time: Penguins Lead 76-62-37
All-Time vs PIT: Sabres Lead 39-29-18
Last Game Recap:
Oilers Shorty Down Sabres 3-2 in Battle of 2 Worst
Drew Stafford made his return to the lineup for the Buffalo Sabres and, in terms of scoring, picked up right where he left off. Unfortunately for the Sabres, his efforts weren’t enough to secure a victory.
Matt Hendricks scored on a shorthanded breakaway 57 seconds into the third period Monday night to lift the Edmonton Oilers over the Sabres 3-2 at First Niagara Center.
The Sabres and Oilers were locked in a 2-2- tie before Hendricks made his way in over the Buffalo line to beat goaltender Jhonas Enroth. Jeff Petry and Justin Schultz also scored for Edmonton.
Sabres captain Steve Ott tallied on the power play in the first period.
Goaltender Jhonas Enroth stopped 25 Edmonton shots while Oilers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov made 42 saves. Buffalo’s 44 shots on goal were a season-high.
“I think we played pretty well today and we created a lot of scoring chances,” Linus Omark, who was acquired by the Sabres from the Oilers in December, said. “We should’ve scored more than two goals. But he was good tonight, Bryzgalov.”
Stafford, who missed four games with an upper-body injury, scored a shorthanded goal with 55.8 seconds to play in the second period to give Buffalo a 2-1 lead. The goal was his second career shorthanded marker and he now has six points (4+2) in his last five games.
He now has eight goals on the season and downplayed the notion that he’s feeling more confident.
“It’s more about just going out and playing free and having a clear head than anything,” he said. “Even when you have confidence, that doesn’t mean you’re going to score every time. There are a lot of times when you might be feeling good, but the puck’s just not going in for you. That’s just the way it works.”
Stafford’s goal came on a 2-on-1 break with Zemgus Girgensons. Skating down the right wing, Stafford held up as he crossed the blue line and then walked in toward the middle of the ice to wrist a shot top shelf over Bryzgalov. It’s the type of shot Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan would like to see more of.
“I thought Drew, the way he shot that puck, that’s what we want to see,” Nolan said. “He’s a big power forward and he’s starting to get his confidence back. In the first game back after a [four-game] break, it’s tough sometimes, but I thought he played well.”
Sabres host Penguins in Wednesday Night Rivalry
Last 10: Pittsburgh 7-3-0; Buffalo 2-5-3
Big story: Sabres goalie Ryan Miller will once again represent the United States when the Sochi Olympics begin in a matter of days. Fleury couldn’t crack the Canadian roster, but he leads the NHL with 30 wins and has the Penguins positioned as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Penguins: With Taylor Pyatt injured on his opening shift in a 2-1 overtime win against the Ottawa Senators on Monday and Andrew Ebbett reassigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, assistant coach Tony Granato supplemented Pittsburgh’s forward depth by skating on the fourth line at practice Tuesday.
Fleury became the fastest Penguins goalie ever to 30 wins in a season and had his teammates raving about a save he made in the third period on Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson. The Penguins went on to win when James Neal scored 1:55 into the extra period.
“That’s the best one I’ve ever seen him make,” Neal said of Fleury’s glove stop on a blistering one-timer by Karlsson. “He’s been doing that all year. He’s an unbelievable goalie. He showed that. His consistency has been great all year. He just keeps getting better.”
Sabres: Since a run of four wins in six games from Dec. 17-29, Buffalo has won just four of its past 16 games. Interim coach Ted Nolan has shuffled players in and out of the lineup; forward Ville Leino, a healthy scratch for the 3-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Monday, saw some time on the second line at practice Tuesday.
With only six games remaining prior to the NHL Trade Deadline on March 5 — two before the Olympic break, four after — the scuttlebutt surrounding Miller’s future continues. The 33-year-old pending unrestricted free agent has the sixth-best save percentage (.925) despite facing the fourth-highest volume of shots (1,339).
“We haven’t talked about anything with regard to contracts,” Miller said Tuesday of his dealings with Sabres management. “We haven’t talked about anything with regard to trades.”
Who’s hot: Penguins forwards Jussi Jokinen (one goal, four assists) Evgeni Malkin (two goals, two assists) and Neal (one goal, two assists) all have three-game point streaks. … Sabres forward Steve Ott has two goals in the past three games.
Buffalo: McCormick Upper Body(IR/Out), Moulson Upper Body(IR/Out), Myers Lower Body(Questionable)
Pittsburgh: Vokoun Blood Clot in Hip(IR/Out), Bennett Wrist Surgery(IR/Out), Dupuis Knee Surgery(IR/Out), Connor Hand Surgery(IR/Out), Vitale Sprained Wrist(IR/Out), Letang Illness(Out), Pyatt Lower Body(Out)
Next 5 Games:
February 6 at Ottawa Senators 7:30 PM(MSG HD/Bell TV HD)
February 25 vs Carolina Hurricanes 7:00 PM(MSG HD/Bell TV HD/NHLN US HD)
February 26 vs Boston Bruins 7:30 PM(NBCSN HD/TSN 2 HD)
February 28 vs San Jose Sharks 7:00 PM(MSG HD/Bell TV HD/NHLN-CA HD)
March 3 at Dallas Stars 8:00 PM(NBCSN HD/TSN2 HD)