After two periods in Buffalo, the Penguins trail the Sabres 3-1. The Sabres took a 3-0 lead just three minutes into the second period. Paul Gaustad started the chip and chase play, getting to the puck first behind the net. With the puck loose out front, Gaustad was left unmarked as defenseman Paul Martin went to cover Nathan Gerbe. The puck came right to Gaustad who was set up on the right post and flipped it high past Brent Johnson who was out of position.
The prompt three-goal lead for the Sabres forced head coach Dan Bylsma to make the call for Marc-Andre Fleury - a situation he desperately wanted to avoid on this Sunday afternoon game.
The Pens quickly responded to the Sabres third goal on a blast from the top by Deryk Engelland - his first goal since December 17th against this same Buffalo team. Engelland one-timed a crossing pass from Evgeni Malkin, who controlled the puck, brought it out top and put it right on the stick of the big defenseman.
Buffalo had ample chances to move it back to a three-goal lead over the final ten minutes of the period. Nathan Gerbe had a wide open net and hit the post after a perfect fake and crossing pass from Patrick Kaleta. Fleury went for the fake and left the net wide open but Gerbe hit the near post. Kaleta then had his first career penalty shot after Chris Kuntiz was whistled for an interference call when the ref determined that he threw his broken stick at Kaleta. Fleury picked up Kunitz, however, and got a glove on Kaleta's shot, for the tenth career stop against 14 penalty shot attempts.
Buffalo was on the power play for much of the period and had three consecutive golden chances on the man-advatange after a Matt Cooke penalty but Marc-Andre Fleury was incredible, stretching out to stop shot after shot. Fleury did amazing work on the power play to keep it a two-goal game.
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