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Live from the Arena: Sabres vs. Pens

Greetings and Happy Thanksgiving (Eve) from high atop HSBC Arena as we get set for tonight's Sabres-Penguins game. If you missed it from earlier today, here's the recap of the Sabres' roster moves:

Out: Connolly (groin), Miller (groin), Stafford (shoulder), Niedermayer (knee), Rivet (healthy), Butler (healthy).

In: Enroth, Stuart, Adam (Portland callups), Weber (from healthy to lineup).

The Sabres will have to be on their toes right away. Check out the starting lineups:

Penguins starters: Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis-Letang-Orpik. Goal: Fleury
Sabres starters: Gerbe-Gaustad-Grier-Sekera-Myers. Goal: Enroth 

Sidney Crosby is on an NHL-high nine-game point streak (9-11-20). Second to him? None other than Thomas Vanek at seven games (4-6-10). With Crosby red-hot, the Penguins are 5-0-1 in their last six games overall and their 15 road points (7-3-1) are tied for tops in the league.

It's going to be very interesting to see the line combinations Lindy Ruff uses tonight. What he had in the morning skate today was dramatically different than yesterday. See above. Nathan Gerbe was on a scoring line yesterday. Not so now. Stay tuned.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

Third Period

8:52 p.m.: We're under way.

18:40 left: Talbot for interference. There's the makeup call. Didn't those end in about 1989? 

18:30 left: Gerbe high from the slot on a great setup from Pominville. Gotta hit the net there.

18:02 left: Great stop on Vanek from the doorstep.

16:36 left: Great stop on Ennis. Linesmen blow a close offside call on Leopold at the point to end things. Got one right during the PP on Sekera, who didn't keep it in.

16:25 left: Kunitz to the box for slashing. Sabres back to the PP.  And Roy not on the bench -- or the ice -- again. 

15:32 left: Fleury stops Myers sneaking in from the point.. Nice feed by Vanek. 

14;23 left: Ennis kills another good PP with a high stick on Orpik. Good zone time again for the Sabres. No conversions. Lindy won't be able to have another tirade about it though. They're working hard.

12:17 left: Good job by Sabres, topped by a nice Enroth save on Letang. Shots are 7-4 for Buffalo in the period and 26-26 overall.

9:34 left: Hecht and Pominville just fail to connect. Good work by Hecht to get the puck out of the zone and bring it up ice. Pass to Pominville at the edge of the crease just failed to connect.

9:00 left: Roy back on the ice again.

7:10 left: Tampa Bay sat on its one-goal lead for 29 minutes Saturday night. The Penguins are trying to do it for 44 minutes here. That's on the Buffalo offense. 

6:35 left: Roy-Vanek-Ennis back together.

5:41 left: We've seen four combined goals in the last 115 minutes in this building. Just not enough. Can the Sabres really lose back-to-back home games with two goalies not named Ryan Miller allowed a combined three goals?  Attendance announced as 18,250 (440 shy of a sellout).

3:19 left: Ennis just wide from the slot after great work by Vanek to get him the puck. Few seconds later, Ennis deflected into the net. 

1:30 left: Penguins holding on.

1:01 left: Icing on the Penguins. Enroth to the bench.

That's it: A 1-0 loss. Final shots 30-29 for Buffalo.

Second Period

Of note: Uh-oh. Roy not on the bench to start the period.

 18:52 left: Roy returns to the bench. Sabres get their first PP thanks to a hooking penalty on Malkin. Roy takes his spot on the left point.

16:52 left: Pens kill it off. They're 18 for 18 the last six games.

16:28 left: Fleury's best sequence of the night, stopping Kaleta on a 3-on-2 as well as Ennis on the rebound. Shots are 6-0 for the Sabres.

15:42 left: Stuart pickpockets Deryk Engelland in the Pens' zone and goes in on Fleury but fires high.

13:12 left: Another good chance for Stuart from the slot and another good Fleury save. 

13:05 left: Fleury robs Roy from in front. Shots are 8-1 for Buffalo and 16-16 overall.

12:43 left: Enroth with a good save on Malkin. 

12:25 left: Fleury on McCormick, who's now with Roy and Vanek (Stuart is with Hecht and Pominville).

10:16 left: Fleury with another good save on Montador and Gerbe just wide on the rebound. Shots are 9-2 in this period. Fleury is easily the No. 1 star halfway through this one.

9:36 left: The Penguins burn their timeout after an icing call. Shots are 9-2 for Buffalo. Dan Bylsma needs to give his guys a break. Sabres with a huge edge in this period.

9:02 left: There's your momentum killer. Leopold gone for tripping Crosby.

6:30 left: Good kill fro Sabres. One shot for Pens.

4:53 left: Solid save by Enroth as Letang streaked down the right win. Enroth out to the top of the crease nicely. 

2:58 left: Stuart goes for goalie interference after a good shot. What a weak ticky-tack call that is. 

End-2nd: Pens still lead 1-0. Sabres had an 11-7 edge in shots. It's 22-19 for Pittsburgh through two. Like how the Sabres stood four abreast at the line on the Pens' power play. Don't like the Buffalo offense. One goal in five periods the last two games for the two backup goalies. They've only allowed three. Have to be better.

First Period

18:57 left: A few seconds after opening his Sabres career, Colin Stuart nearly bangs home a Vanek rebound. Stuart is on left wing with Vanek and Roy rather than Ennis. Plumb assignment right off the plane from Portland.

18:10 left: More Portland impact: Diving play by Mike Weber to break up a 2-on-1 and deny Matt Cooke's pass across the slot. No way Rivet makes that play.

17:33 left: So the lines look like this -- Gerbe-Gaustad-Grier, Stuart-Roy-Vanek, Hecht-McCormick-Pominville, Ennis-Adam-Kaleta. Defense pairs are Sekera-Myers, Montador-Leopold and Weber-Morrisonn.

14:29 left: If we're talking in basketball terms, the tempo is in the Penguins' favor. Shots are 6-4 for the Sabres but they need to take the air out of this game a little to stay with Crosby & Co. Great for fans so far, not sure it's great for the bottom line in the standings.

11:47 left: Enroth holds steady after a rough shift that saw Weber get wiped out on a borderline hit from behind from Mark Letestu and Adam make a weak, weak clearing attempt up the wall that the Penguins easily held in. The puck stayed in the for another 30 seconds before a diving Adam tipped the puck to center ice to partially redeem himself. Shots are 9-7 for Pittsburgh (it was 5-1, Buffalo).

8:09 left: It's been an eventful first period at home this season for Weber. He took the toughest Pens' hit earlier and now issued the Sabres' best hit, straightening up Tyler Kennedy. He's been aggressive, exactly what the Sabres need. Why exactly has he been in the press box basically all year? So many questions. Why take Ennis off the Vanek-Roy line for a guy (Stuart) who's never played a game for the team and has eight NHL goals in his career? Don't get it. Shouldn't you give Gerbe a chance on that line and put Stuart with Grier and Gaustad?

7:49 left: Roy off holding left hand and shaking right hand in disgust after getting drilled by a Myers shoot in at the Pittsburgh line. That's not a good thing. (Insert joke about hand already being hurt here).

6:08 left: Roy to the locker room, likely with an X-ray machine in his future. Gaustad and Talbot to the box after a scrap between the benches following a Gaustad push of Malkin. Gaustad and Talbot get double minors for roughing.

4:56 left: The Pens take a 1-0 lead thanks to Adam's second brutal giveaway of the period. Crosby gets it away from Sekera in the right corner and makes a perfect feed -- what else? -- to a wide-open Pascal Dupuis in the slot for a quick one-timer. So Crosby's point streak continues. Ten games.

2:43 left: Good news -- Roy back on the bench and now on the ice. Bad news -- Vanek off for hooking Malkin in the Buffalo zone. 

0:43 left: The Sabres kill it off. 

End-1st: It's 1-0 for Pittsburgh and shots are 15-8 for the Pens. No shots for the final 6:27 for the Sabres.

tagged

All-Star Game | Sabres game day
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | jvogl@buffnews.com

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | mharrington@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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