The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Buffalo Sabres every way possible in a hockey game Saturday night as they cruised to a 4-1 win and 2-0 season start. The game was similar to Thursday night's opener as Marc-Andre Fleury looked incredibility sharp, the defense stout, and the team's overall execution near flawless. Chuck Kobasew, Craig Adams, and Sidney Crosby had goals for the second straight game (the trio is on pace for 82 in 82 . . . a NHL record!) with Chris Kunitz adding on the fourth on a penalty shot. Matt Niskanen had two assists with Martin, Sutter, and Dupuis also getting on the scoresheet.
Again, Fleury was the story of the night. He turned around twenty Sabres shots and looked every bit as good as he did against the Devils. The beleaguered netminder would've walked away with a second straight shutout if it was not for a fluke rebound off Tomas Vanek's stick in the third. But Flower's spirits are high as the defensive play in front of him continues to look tougher to crack than a wielded walnut.
Fleury said, "I think since last year, our [defensive] focus has been there a lot more I think today, they didn’t really get too much. Even on their power plays, our penalty kill was great. It’s not always in the defensive zone too … like we had the puck and controlled the game and we were in their zone. So, they didn’t get to come on our side too much.”
Thank you, Jacques Martin.
Jussi Jokinen and Beau Bennett shared second duties with Evgeni Malkin as James Neal recovers from a lower-body injury that'll have him sidelined for weeks. The three looked very comfortable together and had some scoring chances. Look for them to remain together until the Real Deal returns.
The lone bright spot for the Sabres was backup goalie Jhonas Enroth, who was brilliant considering how his forwards played. He stopped 31 of the 34 shots he faced and kept Buffalo in the hunt for a least a point, but his effort was not rewarded. And he knew it.
Enroth said, "I don’t think I made any mistakes. I played solid and I didn’t give up big rebounds and stuff like that, so I felt good today. Obviously, we need to score more and the guys are doing their best. We have a couple really good players on this team, too, so I’m sure they’re going to start scoring a couple of goals here in the next couple of games.”
The Penguins look to engender more frustration like that Tuesday night when they finish up their home-stand against Metropolitan Division foes Caroline Hurricanes.
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