The Sabres, unbeaten in four straight, were eager to see how they stacked up against the NHL's best team. After Pittsburgh left town with a 5-2 victory -- their 12th straight -- it was clear how the Sabres did on their test.
"Obviously, it’s a fail," defenseman Mike Weber said. "We need the two points more than anything right now to get ourselves into the playoffs here. We competed great for the first and second periods and let it slip a little in the third."
The Sabres fell into a 2-0 hole in the opening 9:31, with the second goal coming after a Derek Roy turnover.
"My fault," Roy said. "It’s tough to get back, especially coming against teams that have 11 straight. ... We had to play a squeaky clean game, and we didn’t do that."
Coach Lindy Ruff was disappointed in Roy, Thomas Vanek, Jochen Hecht, Jordan Leopold and Steve Montador, among others.
"Our big guys weren’t good enough," Ruff said. "We missed nets. We missed opportunities. We had little plays down low where if you’re going to beat that team if they’re running that good, put it away. I don’t want to hear you talk about, 'Well, it was a great opportunity, missed chance.’ You don’t win games. If you’re going to win a game like that, you’ve got to take advantage of some of the turnovers we created."