December 17, 2011; Pittsburgh,PA, USA: Pittsburgh Penguins defender Simon Despres (47) handles the puck against the Buffalo Sabres during the third period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Pens won 8-3. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USPRESSWIRE

Pens Sneak By Sabres


After relinquishing their early 2-0 lead yesterday, the Penguins would eventually go on to beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 on a late Paul Martin tally.

Passed back up to the high slot by one Sidney Crosby, Martin was able to rip the biscuit by a screened Ryan Miller with just 2:04 remaining in the game to push the Pens to atop the Eastern Conference and a 11-5-0 record.

Story of the game was the two goaltenders.

Each goalie did their best to keep their squads in the game by stopping multiple odd-man rushes and flashing some serious leather on some high-quality shots.

However, in the end–the “Flower” reigned supreme.

Marc-Andre Fleury was able to stop 30 of 31 shots and improve his overall record to 8-3-0.  He now has a 2.34 goals against average and a .914 save percentage on the season.

Crosby continues to roll as he racked in another three point night with a tally and a couple helpers.

What had kind of started out as a slow season statistically-wise for Crosby, has now quickly changed as he now atop the point standings, one point behind Thomas Vanek.

Pascal Dupuis potted a pair of tallies himself, while assisting on the game-winning goal.  And the other players who bagged an assist each were Chris Kunitz, Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin and Brooks Orpik.

A topic that’s noteworthy is the recent point drought of reigning MVP Evgeni Malkin.  After registering just a point yesterday in Buffalo, Malkin now has only two points in his last three contests and just 18 points (3G, 15A).

Don’t expect this to last.

Towards the end of the game, Sabres forward Steve Ott had gotten into the face of Fleury, which then prompted Pens players to quickly respond.  The incident clearly was a example of how emotional the game had been.

A game that was filled with a lot a penalties by both sides, Head Coach Dan Bylsma had responded by claiming the calls could have gone either way.

However, you can probably bet Penalties will be a problem in the next game.

The Pens next matchup is Wednesday in Pittsburgh against the hated Philadelphia Flyers at 7:30 p.m.


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