Buffalo Sabres: Pens dominate again in Pittsburgh

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 17: Chad Johnson
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 17: Chad Johnson /

For the second night running the Buffalo Sabres had virtually no answer, as they were again dominated by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Buffalo Sabres gave it another kick at the can against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night, after getting shutout at home 4-0 the previous evening. However, things didn’t get any better at PPG Paints Arena.

Pens’ coach Mike Sullivan went with the hot hand in goal with Tristan Jarry. Meanwhile, the likes of Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel lit up the Sabres on the way to a 5-1 win.

Zach Bogosian elected to jump a little too far into the neutral zone late in the first period, leaving Marco Scandella isolated at the back. Malkin broke free on a two-on-one with Kessel, which resulted in the Russian winger putting it past Chad Johnson with minimal effort.

Riley Sheahan was giving Nathan Beaulieu all sorts of problems as the latter was collecting the puck for Buffalo in his own zone. Sheahan eventually striped the puck from Beaulieu and sent in to Bryan Rust who quickly fed Carl Hagelin in front of the net. The Swede waited patiently for Johnson to bite and then buried it over the Swords’ netminder.

More from Tip of the Tower

The Buffalo Sabres would get two great power-play opportunities moments later. Ryan O’Reilly ripped a shot on Jarry, that Kyle Okposo tipped just wide. Rasmus Ristolainen got into the action as he sent a shot from the point, but it dinged off of the post. No luck for the Sabres on the man advantage, which has been the norm as of late.

Sidney Crosby worked into the zone towards the end of the second period and deked around Jack Eichel. Captain Canada then fed Patric Hornqvist, who deflected past Johnson for the third goal of the night.

Eichel made up for it by sending a beautiful backhand from behind the net to Jason Pominville, who one-timed it home to get the Sabres on the board.

Kessel was found in his natural habitat when flying down the wing, to fire an exhilarating wrist shot past Johnson for the fourth Penguin goal of the contest. Minutes later, Hornqvist fed a pass to Crosby, who tapped it into the empty net.

Buffalo found their heads hanging yet again, as the Pens celebrated their fourth-straight victory.

Key Stats

Pittsburgh Penguins

  • 29 shots
  • 1/6 on the power-play
  • 16 blocks
  • Key Player: Malkin with one goal and two points

Buffalo Sabres

  • 33 shots
  • 19 PIM
  • 0/4 on the power-play
  • Key Player: Pominville scores his first goal since Oct. 28

Buffalo is a frusturating team to watch, in case you haven’t figured this out yet. The Swords spend more time chasing the game than they do making an impact when they’re actually on the puck.

Each player may think they’re working hard, but that isn’t enough in this league and for this team at the moment. Something really needs to be done with the strategy, because Phil Housley likely hasn’t figured one out yet.

Next: Can Sabres compete with Lehner and Johnson?

Glad to see Pominville score a goal? What should be the Sabres’ game plan, with the lineup they feature? Let us know in the comment below.