It was a special hockey game for a special day as the Sabres took the Penguins to school tallying 6 goals on the Penguins on hockey day in America. The Sabres came into today’s game having lost four straight while the Penguins were coming a big 6-4 win against their division rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers.
You couldn’t have scripted a better start for the Sabres against a tough opponent like the Pittsburgh Penguins. Just 52 seconds into the game Sabres captain Jason Pominville opened the scoring after redirecting a pass from Tyler Myers through the legs of Brent Johnson.
Just four minutes later the Sabres struck again. This time Derek Roy makes a beautiful move on the Pittsburgh and backhands a relatively weak goal through Brent Johnson making it 2-0 Sabres less than 5 minutes into the game. The Sabres continued to play a solid period defensively getting some key stops by Ryan Miller to preserve the 2 goal lead after 20 minutes of play.
In the second period the Sabres picked up right where they left off. A little over 2 minutes into the period Paul Gaustad lifted a loose puck over the pad of Brent Johnson, which ultimately got him pulled from the game.
Just a minute and a half after the Sabres took a three goal lead, the Penguins came right back as a point shot by Defenseman Derek Engelland trickled through a screened Miller making it a 3-1 game. After that goal the Sabres literally re-wrote the expression “so close yet so far”. The Sabres had many great scoring chances that included 2 posts by Nathan Gerbe and Christian Ehrhoff and a missed penalty shot by Patrick Kaleta.
Early in the third period the Penguins cut the lead, on the powerplay, to one when Jordan Staal scored a backhand goal on Ryan Miller that just squeezed through the five hole and over the goal line. Instead of panicking from the two unanswered goals, the Sabres regrouped and took over this game dominating the Penguins with three consecutive goals of their own.
Just over a minute after the Penguins goal the Sabres came right back on the counter attack. Drew Stafford took a nice pass from Thomas Vanek and was robbed on his original shot but he picked up his own rebound and scored a wrap-around goal to restore the two goal lead for the Sabres.
Two minutes after Stafford’s goal the Sabres went to work again, this time short handed. Jason Pominville threw an amazing cross ice pass to Derek Roy who just flicked it over the pad of Marc-Andre Fleury making it 5-2 Sabres. Tyler Ennis would add his sixth of the year on a beautiful backhand goal and Derek Roy and Jason Pominville finished the game with 3 points each leading the Sabres to a 6-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Sabres will play again this coming Tuesday, when the New York Islanders come to the First Niagara Center. The puck will drop at 7pm on MSG.