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Penguins Vs. Sabres: Pens Look To Stay Hot In Buffalo

Sports Network | November 24, 2010


(Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Penguins will try to match their longest winning streak of the season when they visit the Buffalo Sabres tonight at HSBC Arena.

The Penguins have won their last three games and Dan Bylsma's club has a chance tonight to match the run they put together from Oct. 15-21. Pittsburgh also enters this evening having gone six straight without a regulation loss, posting a 5-0-1 record over that span.

Pittsburgh was in action Monday night and used a third-period goal by Chris Conner to record a 3-2 victory in Florida.

With the score tied in the third, Pittsburgh took the lead with 7:04 left. Mark Letestu was covered well by the defense but still managed to send a backhand pass to the front, where Conner wristed it home.

Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist and Kris Letang also lit the lamp for the Penguins. Crosby extended his point streak to nine games and has nine goals and 11 assists during the tear.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves in the victory.

"I thought we played well in the first and they were better in the second, third was 50-50," said Crosby. "We came up with some big penalty kills to keep us in it and Marc made the saves that kept us in it."

Fleury made his sixth consecutive start. It's unclear if Fleury will get his seventh start in a row tonight or if Bylsma will go with backup Brent Johnson, who is 6-2-1 on the year but hasn't played since giving up six goals in a loss to Boston on Nov. 10. That setback against the Bruins was Pittsburgh's last regulation loss.

Pittsburgh has also won three straight on the road and is 7-3-1 away from the Steel City this season.

The Sabres, meanwhile, are just 3-7-1 on home ice this season and the club has split the first two tilts of a four-game homestand. Buffalo began the residency with a 4-2 decision over Los Angeles on Friday, but the Sabres were dealt a loss by Tampa Bay the following night.

Adam Hall's second-period goal off netminder Patrick Lalime's misplay of the puck was good enough to lift the Lightning past Buffalo, 2-1. Thomas Vanek had the lone goal and Lalime recorded 20 saves for the Sabres, who have dropped two of their last three games.

Tampa Bay got the eventual game-winning goal with 8:34 left in the second, when Lalime tried to clear a dumped puck but miss-played it. Hall swiped the puck away near the left face off circle and wristed it past the recovering goaltender.

"Mistakes will happen," Sabres forward Jason Pominville said of the game- winning goal. "[Lalime] played well. He kept us in the game. He made the saves he needed to and it comes down to us. We got just one goal and you're not going to win many games if you just score one."

Lalime earned the start after No. 1 netminder Ryan Miller was scratched with a groin injury. Jhonas Enroth served as the backup to Lalime on Saturday, but has been sent back down to Portland in the AHL. That roster move means Miller should at least be able to back up Lalime tonight, if not start the game himself.

Vanek enters tonight's game riding a seven-game point streak. He has four goals and six assists during the run.

Sabres forwards Tim Connolly (groin) and Jochen Hecht (upper body) are also questionable for tonight's game.

The Penguins won three of four against Buffalo last season and Pittsburgh has taken nine of 12 overall in the series. The Sabres have also dropped five of their last seven home games against the Pens.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.