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Pens-Sabres In-Game Blog

Saturday, 12.17.2011 / 5:00 PM / Features
By Michelle Crechiolo
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Pens-Sabres In-Game Blog



PENGUINS 8, SABRES 3





0:00: That'll do it! Pens top the Sabres 8-3!

4:08: Sabres back to full strength.

6:08: Regehr to the box. Pens get their seventh PP of the night!

6:21: As the Pens gain the zone, Malkin is swarmed by about three Sabres, but he's barely able to tip it back to Kunitz, who slams it into the back of the net! This game is unbelievable! Pens 8, Sabres 3

7:45: By the way, Geno's third goal came during the Big Mac Attack! The streak is broken! Free Big Macs for everyone!!!

8:17: Neal drops a pass back to Malkin, who instantly gets the puck to the net. His initial shot is stopped by Enroth, but he quickly grabs his own rebound and puts it home!!! Seventh career hat trick for Geno!!! And the hats shower the ice! Pens 7, Sabres 3

8:59: As Malkin powers his way to the net, he's hooked by Gragniani and that means the Pens are going to their sixth PP of the night.

9:18: The hits just keep coming: Pens forward Craig Adams is questionable to return tonight with a lower-body injury.

9:47: Gaustad makes his way into the slot as the Pens D-man marking him (Sneep) slides to try and block the shot. But the Sabres centerman isn't fooled and is able to sidestep over before slipping the puck past Fleury. Pens 6, Sabres 3

11:11: Rookie Luke Adam gobbles up a turnover in the Pens' zone and absolutely snipes one past Fleury to cut Pittsburgh's lead to 4. Pens 6, Sabres 2

11:45: Sabres are back to full strength as the Pens couldn't quite get anything going on that PP.

13:58: And now Pittsburgh will get their fifth PP of the night as Gragniani goes to the box. They've already netted two goals with the man-advantage so far tonight.

17:17: The Pens successfully kill that off and go back to full strength!

19:17: Pens will be shorthanded early as Niskanen goes for interference.

20:00: Puck drops to start the third. Now Enroth is back between the pipes for the Sabres. Game on!







- 14 different Pens have gotten on the scoresheet tonight
- All 6 D have chipped in with at least a point
- With his goal, Neal also extended his point streak to five games.
- He's got four goals and two assists in that span
- Pens dominating in the faceoff circle, 26-15

















0:00: Horn sounds to end the second and the Pens have a resounding 6-1 lead, with five different goal scorers. They're outshooting the Sabres 21-15.

2:06: Seriously love the way the Pens' D-men get involved in the rush. In this case it's Deryk Engelland, who receives a bullet of a pass from Asham, carries down and sneaks a shot through Miller. Dupuis also earned a helper on the goal, his 300th career point! Pens 6, Sabres 1

3:50: Pens are also dominating in the faceoff dot, winning 24 to the Sabres' 13.

7:06: Pens are outhitting the Sabres 16-4 right now. Talk about establishing physicality!

10:57: The frenetic pace that this game took in the first period has definitely slowed down. Not much to report these last few minutes.

15:32: Sabres back to full strength. Solid kill by the Pens.

17:50: Sabres to the PP as Asham is called for hooking rookie Luke Adam.

19:07: With two seconds left on the penalty to Szczechura, Malkin sends a pass right in Neal's wheelhouse in his favorite spot to shoot from -- smack dab in the middle of the circle. Nealer wastes no time winding up and blasting the puck past Enroth. Gaustad had lost his stick so it was like a 5-on-3. Pens 5, Sabres 1

20:00: Puck drops to start the second. Miller is back in goal for the Sabres and the Pens have 55 seconds left on a power play. Game on!







- Despres scored his first NHL goal
- Sneep notched his first NHL point (assist) in his first NHL game
- Williams got his first goal in a Penguins uniform
- Call-ups are doing work!!!
- Geno's point streak now at 5 games. He's got 4 goals, 4 assists in that span

















0:00: That'll do it for the first. Pens have a 4-1 lead thanks to two goals from Geno and one each from Despres and Williams. Pitt is outshooting Buffalo 13-9 and they'll have 55 seconds left on the PP when the second begins.

1:05: Pens to the PP as Szczechura is called for hi-sticking.

1:50: Bylsma uses his timeout after his team ices the puck after a long shift.

2:30: Sneep receives a reverse from Picard and fires a pass that banks off the boards right to Geno (with Neal smartly not touching it), who carries down and beats Enroth with a low backhand! Two goals for Geno! Pens 4, Sabres 1

5:09: Engelland carries down the side of the ice and throws a puck at Enroth, with the rebound bouncing right to Neal -- but his backhand attempt is denied by the Sabres goalie.

7:05: Vanek cuts through the middle, receives a pass from a teammate and snipes a shot past Fleury using Orpik as a screen. Vanek is coming off a four-point night (2G-2A) in the Sabres' 5-4 win over Toronto Friday. Pens 3, Sabres 1

8:42: A couple of notes. Orpik's assist on Malkin's goal was his 100th career point. Congrats to Brooksy! And Geno's point streak has now been extended to five games. He's got 4 goals and 4 assists in that span.

10:16: With three goals on seven shots, the Pens have chased Miller. Jhonas Enroth is in as his replacement.

10:17: Geno picks up a puck in his own zone and drives down the center of the ice. He passes to Kunitz, who gives it right back and instantly lifts up the stick of a Sabres D-man, clearing a path for Malkin. Geno takes advantage of the time and space to snap a shot past Miller! Pens 3, Sabres 0

13:53: Sully sends a cross-ice pass right to the wheelhouse of Despres, who one-times a blast under the pads of Miller! First NHL goal for the 20-year-old rookie! Pens 2, Sabres 0

15:34: Pens to the PP as Pittsburgh native Weber is called for tripping! The Pens went 2-for-4 on the man-advantage last night. Let's see if they can recreate that magic tonight.

16:36:
Ennis one-arms a nice pass to linemate Roy, who has some space on the right side. He winds up and unleashes a shot at Fleury, who makes the save! Good chance for Buffalo there.

17:43: Williams wins a faceoff just outside the Pens' zone back to Picard, who dishes it right back. Williams skates up the ice and right when he gets to the Sabres' blue line, he uncorks a slapper that beats Miller stick side!!! Pens 1, Sabres 0

19:07: Pens with a couple of hard hits on the first shift. Establishing a physical tone early.

20:00: It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Puck drops. Game on!




7:00 PM:
Pens scratch Staal, MacIntyre and Martin. Pittsburgh's lines:

Kunitz-Malkin-Neal
Cooke-Dupuis-Kennedy
Sullivan-Vitale-Asham
Tangradi-Adams-Williams

Orpik-Niskanen
Despres-Engelland
Picard-Sneep

Fleury between the pipes. Miller in goal for Buffalo.





Bylsma gives Martin update (5:07 PM).
A short update on Letang (5:24 PM).
The Verizon Game Day Report (5:00 PM).



5:24 PM:
The rest of Bylsma's transcript...

On Kris Letang’s workouts:
He’s not skating. Anything he might be doing is light at this time.

On playing successfully through the injuries:
I think part of the success that we’ve had throughout the season through some of the injuries has jut been the expectation for how we need to play and how we need to execute with the puck to give ourselves a chance to play our type of game. That’s the important part whether it’s Carl Sneep coming up from Wilkes-Barre or Paul Martin not being in the lineup. They know what’s expected and know how to execute to allow us to get to our game and that’s been a big part of allowing our team to have success. That’s something we are still trying to do right now given the day to day. We’re going against a Buffalo team that’s not too far off that.

On Sneep’s first NHL game:
I think with Carl making his first appearance tonight in his first NHL game, there’s a certain amount of anxiety and nerves that go along with that and playing in your first game. I think that some of that confidence that you gain from knowing exactly what’s expected from you and exactly what to do on the ice. Everything he hears today and going out for this game won’t be new for Carl. He has a little bit of the confidence of knowing what’s expected from him and the partners he’s going to be with, he knows exactly what they expect. Language-wise and execution-wise, he’s going to be on page with that. He’s going to have a good chance to go out and be comfortable playing even though there’s going to be butterflies. He’s going to be dealing with a little bit of the anxiety of his first NHL game.



Goal: Kaitlin Zurawsky



5:07 PM:
Bylsma said that Paul Martin will not play in tonight's game vs. Buffalo and the rest of his lineup will be a game-time decision.

When asked if he knew the severity of Martin's lower-body injury, Bylsma responded, "I don't. I'm hoping it's day to day. At this point in time, I'm not certain."

A short while ago, the Pens recalled defenseman Carl Sneep and forward Jason Williams from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton...and the 24-year-old Sneep, the Pens' second-round pick (32nd overall) in the 2006 NHL Draft, will make his NHL debut tonight in Martin's stead.



5:00 PM:
Hello everyone and welcome to a Saturday night edition of the blog. The Pens host the Sabres tonight at CONSOL Energy Center, and it's going to be a quick turnaround for both teams as each club played Friday night.

The Pens did not hold a game day skate this morning and there was no media availability. But head coach Dan Bylsma is expected to address the media here shortly, so we'll have a full transcript and video for you as soon as possible. Bylsma is expected to address the status of defenseman Paul Martin, who left early in the third period of Friday's game vs. Ottawa and did not return. Bylsma said it was a lower-body injury and Martin would be further evaluated today. Stay tuned...

The Sabres, however, did have a few guys out on the ice this morning, and we were able to catch captain Jason Pominville and coach Lindy Ruff talking about tonight's game. Watch it below in the Game Day Report:

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