Published: Saturday, January 6, 2007
Winning in Buffalo is sweet feat
Pittsburgh has yet to lose a game in regulation when leading after 40 minutes.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Winning in Buffalo was big for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Beating the Eastern Conference-leading Sabres was even better.
Evgeni Malkin, Ryan Whitney and Jordan Staal each had a goal and assist, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves in the Pittsburgh's 4-2 victory over Buffalo on Friday night. The Penguins won in Buffalo for the first time since November 2003 and snapped the Sabres' five-game winning streak against them.
They also extended their own winning streak to three games after stumbling through a five-game losing streak.
"They're such a great and dominating team," said Fleury, who has allowed just three goals over his last three starts. "Those two points were big for us."
Coupled with Tuesday night's 3-0 win over Carolina, the Penguins have beaten both of last season's Eastern Conference finalists.
"We've played some big games against some big teams," said Staal, who tied the game at 2-2 with his 12th at 13:39 of the second period. "Carolina was a huge game for us, and now that we got this one we have a good feeling. Hopefully we'll keep it going."
Dominic Moore also scored for the Penguins, who have won their last three by a combined score of 11-3.
"We knew this was going to be a big challenge and a big test," center Sidney Crosby said. "We respected them, but we had confidence that we could beat them as well."
Derek Roy and Chris Drury scored for Buffalo, which dropped its second straight. It's only the second time this season the Sabres (29-9-3) have lost consecutive games. They lost 6-3 to Ottawa on Wednesday.
"What you need to guard against is letting that frustration affect how hard you work on the ice," coach Lindy Ruff said.
Roy opened the scoring with his sixth goal at 14:44 of the first period. He one-timed Toni Lydman's pass at the right circle past Fleury.
Whitney tied it at 7:26 of the second with his seventh while Pittsburgh had the man advantage. He one-timed Crosby's cross-ice pass while standing in the lower left circle.
Drury gave Buffalo a 2-1 lead 3:24 later on the power play with his 21st, but Staal tied it nearly 3 minutes later knocking in Josef Melichar's rebound.
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.