for this game

Penguins win tuneup vs. Sabres

Dec 30, 2007 - 5:17 AM
By Vince Comunale PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) - On New Year's Day, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres will meet in the Winter Classic at Buffalo's Ralph Wilson Stadium in front of 73,000 spectators.

In a more traditional setting on Saturday, Sidney Crosby set up Colby Armstrong's goal early in the second period and the Penguins posted a 2-0 victory over the Sabres in front of a mere 17,132 at Mellon Arena.

Ty Conklin ran his record to 4-0-0 while making 26 saves in his first shutout of the season for Pittsburgh. He stopped eight in the first and second periods, and 10 in the third for his first shutout of the season and third of his career.

"Certainly the win was the nicest thing, but it was nice for the team to get a shutout, too," Conklin said.

Evgeni Malkin added an empty-net goal for the Penguins, who have won three in a row.

Buffalo captain Brian Campbell knew Pittsburgh would be a tough opponent.

"They're a tough team, they protect the puck well," Campbell said. "When you get guys like Crosby, Malkin, even (Georges) Laraque does a good job at holding on to it."

On Tuesday, the two teams will make history by playing the NHL's first outdoor game on U.S. soil. Conklin was the Oilers' goaltender of record in the only other NHL game played outdoors in November of 2003 at the NHL Heritage Classic in Edmonton.

He is looking forward to playing outdoors again.

"It'll be different," Conklin said. "It certainly was in Edmonton. It'll be exciting for both teams."

Buffalo's Jaroslav Spacek is taking the approach that the outdoor game is just one of 82.

"There's lots of focus on that (outdoor) game, but it's just a game for us," Spacek said. "It will be nice. After everything is done, you've got to focus on other games."

The first period saw long stretches of play without a whistle, but little in the way of prime scoring chances. The Penguins' best opportunity came with just under six minutes left in the first when Armstrong rang a wrist shot off the post to goaltender Ryan Miller's stick side.

Buffalo's best offensive chances came on the lone power play opportunity for either team in the first period, but Conklin handled the chances with relative ease.

While neither team could generate a goal in the first period, it took the Penguins just 12 seconds to get on the board in the second frame.

Reigning Art Ross Trophy winner Crosby pushed off Buffalo defenseman Jochen Hecht right outside the Buffalo blue line and broke into the zone with Armstrong.

As Crosby angled to the net, he flipped a pass over the Sabres defenseman, who went down attempting to block the pass, and hit Armstrong, who tapped the puck past Miller to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead.

"You score goals when you go to the net, and obviously I scored by going to the net," Armstrong said.

Pittsburgh lost Gary Roberts at 13:32 of the second period when Buffalo's Tim Connolly awkwardly slid into Roberts. The collision knocked Roberts off balance and pinned his left knee under Connolly.

Roberts was helped off the ice and did not return. X-rays revealed a broken left fibula.

"It's been tough for sure, to see guys like that going down," Armstrong said. "Guys are going to have to step up. (Roberts) means a lot to us. He's a big leader to us and everybody really looks up to him."

Connolly explained how he got tangled up with Roberts.

"I don't know who got a piece of me, but I fell," Connolly said. "I don't know exactly what happened, but I was surprised to see him down. It's a freak accident and I wish something like that doesn't happen."

While both teams went 0-4 on the power play, Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff questioned at least one of the calls that gave Pittsburgh a man advantage.

"Even that penalty on (Evgeni) Malkin, you are going to have to find that one for me," Ruff said. "That was a world class dive by Malkin. To lie there, and I thought for a second that we might have to get the stretcher. He lied still for a while, and the League will have to look at that one."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0 0 0
    PITTSBURGH 0 1 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: PIT - COLBY ARMSTRONG 5 (SIDNEY CROSBY, DARRYL SYDOR) 0:12
    3RD PRD: PIT - (EN) EVGENI MALKIN 15 (SIDNEY CROSBY, COLBY ARMSTRONG)
    19:53
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: BUF - 0 OF 4, PIT - 0 OF 4.
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    Dec 29 9:51 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 0
    PITTSBURGH 2
    3RD PRD: PIT - (EN) EVGENI MALKIN 15 (SIDNEY CROSBY, COLBY ARMSTRONG)
    19:53

    Sabres vs. PenguinsDec 29 9:50 PM
  • 10
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    lpickrell Added 5 roots

    Sabres vs. PenguinsDec 29 9:20 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0 0
    PITTSBURGH 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: PIT - COLBY ARMSTRONG 5 (SIDNEY CROSBY, DARRYL SYDOR) 0:12
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUF 8 8 16
    PIT 8 8 16
    GOALIES: BUF -

    Dec 29 9:00 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 0
    PITTSBURGH 1
    2ND PRD: PIT - COLBY ARMSTRONG 5 (SIDNEY CROSBY, DARRYL SYDOR) 0:12

    Sabres vs. PenguinsDec 29 8:26 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUF 8 8
    PIT 8 8
    GOALIES: BUF - RYAN MILLER
    PIT - TY CONKLIN

    Dec 29 8:08 PM
  • 5
    roots
    pclifton86 Added 5 roots

    Sabres vs. PenguinsDec 25 12:01 PM