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Penguins-Sabres Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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Penguins-Sabres Preview
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Buffalo Sabres

With one of the league's stingiest defenses, the Pittsburgh Penguins have been quite comfortable playing on the road.

The Penguins, however, may have a difficult time making themselves at home on Sunday when they visit a Buffalo Sabres team looking to build off a big win.

Although it faced a road-heavy start to the lockout-shortened schedule, Pittsburgh (10-5-0) has won seven of nine away from home to move just behind New Jersey for the most points in the Eastern Conference.

The Penguins rank near the top of the East in goals allowed (2.33 per game) overall, but they've given up among the fewest (2.00) in the NHL on the road.

Marc-Andre Fleury has been a major catalyst to the road success. He made 25 saves in a 3-1 win at Winnipeg on Sunday, improving to 4-1-0 with a 1.58 goals-against average in five starts away from home.

Fleury has enjoyed success against Buffalo lately, winning six of his last seven starts with a 2.15 GAA and a shutout.

Sidney Crosby should also be happy to see the Sabres. He has seven goals and 13 assists during a 13-game point streak in the series, notching at least a point in all 12 career games at Buffalo.

This time, though, Buffalo (6-8-1) figures to be riding high following a 4-2 home victory over Northeast Division-leading Boston on Friday.

Christian Ehrhoff scored the game-winner as the Sabres rallied for three third-period goals en route to their third win in five games.

"We got a couple of good shifts in early in the third period," Ehrhoff said. "We rode from there, like a snowball effect."

Although the Sabres are last in the Northeast, they have handed the rival Bruins their only two losses in regulation.

After totaling 11 goals and 23 points in his first 11 games, Buffalo's Thomas Vanek has been held off the scoresheet in his last three contests. He does have a point in each of his last four games against Pittsburgh.

Also struggling lately is captain Jason Pominville, held without a point in five consecutive games after collecting six goals and eight assists in his first 10.

The Sabres also haven't gotten much out of the power play, converting 1 of 30 in over their last eight games.

It's been a much different story for the Penguins, who have scored on the power play in seven straight contests. They've gone 10 for 27 (37.0 percent) during that stretch, and rank near the top of the league (27.6) on the season.

James Neal leads the league with seven of his team-best 11 goals on the power play. He has six goals in his last six games and five in that same stretch against the Sabres.

Craig Adams scored his first two goals of the season Friday to key the team's second straight win.

"If I had more nights like this I would make a better living," Adams said.

The Penguins would do well to get off to a fast start, having won nine of 12 when scoring first. They've done so in an NHL-best 12 games, including all nine on the road.

While Buffalo's Ryan Miller has a 2.01 GAA in his last four starts, he's 1-5-0 with a 4.06 mark in his last seven against the Penguins.

Pittsburgh has won eight of 10 against the Sabres, including three of four in Buffalo.

2012-2013 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 23 '13BUF 4 at PIT 2S. Ott
Apr 02 '13BUF 4 at PIT 1S. Ott
Feb 17 '13PIT 4 at BUF 3P. Martin
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
S. Crosby1671724+11820
C. Kunitz1661218+111032
E. Malkin1631417-22621
J. Neal1611314-61474
P. Dupuis167512+71211
K. Letang133811+5200
P. Martin16279-2811
B. Sutter16336+2411
M. Cooke16235-21800
S. Despres13235+61400
C. Adams16213+1900
M. Niskanen8123-1000
T. Kennedy16112-2200
R. Bortuzzo8112+41300
D. Engelland16022+62300
B. Orpik16022+1600
J. Vitale14022-2400
T. Glass16000-31900
Z. Boychuk8000-2200
E. Tangradi5000+2000
D. Jeffrey4000+1200
D. Reese3000+0000
B. Lovejoy3000-2000
B. Bennett2000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
M. Fleury118-3-0252912.34.914
T. Vokoun63-2-0121472.27.918
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
T. Vanek15121325+41250
C. Hodgson167714-21001
J. Pominville166814-1611
T. Ennis165813-1200
C. Ehrhoff152810+61001
M. Foligno16178-51900
S. Ott16347+43810
D. Stafford16167-51100
J. Hecht16055+1600
A. Sulzer14314+5801
J. Leopold16134-71200
T. Myers14213-71611
M. Grigorenko14123-4000
A. Sekera12123-3200
N. Gerbe12022-3000
M. Weber10022-12300
R. Regehr9011+0800
A. Pardy1011+0200
J. Scott15000-21900
P. Kaleta11000+02500
C. McCormick7000-21000
M. Ellis6000+0000
T. Brennan5000+0400
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
R. Miller146-7-1404662.91.914
J. Enroth30-2-011724.75.847