for this game

Malkin, Sykora propel Penguins past Sabres

Feb 18, 2008 - 3:08 AM
BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) -- All-Star Evgeni Malkin and Petr Sykora each had a goal and an assist as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 4-1, on Sunday.

Jarkko Ruutu scored his first goal of the season, Colby Armstrong added an empty-net tally and Ryan Malone had two assists for Pittsburgh, which moved into a tie with idle New Jersey atop the Atlantic Division standings.

Thomas Vanek had a power-play goal for Buffalo, which has dropped two straight after posting an 8-0-2 record in its previous 10 games.

Ruutu opened the scoring 7:28 into the second period.

Ryan Malone fed Ruutu, who had just finished serving a penalty, and the Finnish native slipped a backhander past goaltender Ryan Miller for his first goal in 59 games. Ruutu's last tally was against the New Jersey Devils on March 14, 2007.

"I'm pretty confident in breakaways and shootouts," Ruutu said. "I know what I'm going to do before I get to the goalie. It felt good to get out of the slump and hopefully there will be more to come soon."

Sykora doubled the Penguins' advantage two minutes later, accepting a feed from Malkin and wristing the puck past an out-of-position Miller for his 19th goal of the season.

Vanek halved the deficit just over five minutes later with his seventh goal in his last six games.

Stationed in front of the net, Vanek corralled a centering feed from Derek Roy and quickly beat Ty Conklin for his 22nd tally of the campaign.

That was all that Conklin would allow. He finished with 36 saves to improve to 15-4-3 on the season.

"We've thrown a lot of pucks on him," Buffalo's Jason Pominville said. "He's hot right now, he's playing well for them. We're not too worried about who is in net or who's in front of us. It's not going to change our game that much. We've got to throw pucks on net and hope to get a bounce.

"On the other hand, he has played well. You've got to give him credit."

Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff wasn't interested in handing out credit after the game.

"We poured a lot into the first period and got nothing for it," he said. "We didn't finish a couple of great opportunities that could have made a difference in the game.

"We made some big mistakes. We let a guy come out of the penalty box and we knew he going out, but we still let him get a breakaway. The big mistakes turned into goals and our big opportunities went by the way side."

The Penguins relied once more on their top line in the third period.

With Maxime Talbot attempting to split the Buffalo defense, the puck got left in the crease. With Miller moving to his left with Talbot, Malkin crashed in to push the puck into the open net. Sykora picked up the other assist.

"We created chances and we scored two goals tonight as a line - but we could have scored five," Sykora said. "We had a lot of chances. I think we are really getting used to each other. We played 12-13 games and I'm really having a good time out there with (Malkin)."

Malkin extended his points streak to eight games and his goal streak to five games, while Sykora now has points in 11 of his last 13 games.

"I think people misassessed the character of this team. We didn't, not in this locker room," Conklin said. "When guys get hurt, it's an opportunity for guys to step up. Certainly losing Marc (Andre Fleury) and Sid (Crosby) is no small task for any team, but lots of guys pitched in."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 2 2 4
    BUFFALO 0 1 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: PIT - JARKKO RUUTU 1 (RYAN MALONE, ROB SCUDERI) 7:28
    PIT - (PP) PETR SYKORA 19 (EVGENI MALKIN, SERGEI GONCHAR)
    9:28
    BUF - (PP) THOMAS VANEK 22 (DEREK ROY, JASON POMINVILLE)
    14:55
    3RD PRD: PIT - EVGENI

    Feb 17 8:29 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 4
    BUFFALO 1
    3RD PRD: PIT - (EN) COLBY ARMSTRONG 7 (RYAN MALONE) 18:48

    Penguins vs. SabresFeb 17 8:26 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 3
    BUFFALO 1
    3RD PRD: PIT - EVGENI MALKIN 34 (MAXIME TALBOT, PETR SYKORA) 8:13

    Penguins vs. SabresFeb 17 8:10 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 2 2
    BUFFALO 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: PIT - JARKKO RUUTU 1 (RYAN MALONE, ROB SCUDERI) 7:28
    PIT - (PP) PETR SYKORA 19 (EVGENI MALKIN, SERGEI GONCHAR)
    9:28
    BUF - (PP) THOMAS VANEK 22 (DEREK ROY, JASON POMINVILLE)
    14:55
    SHOTS ON

    Feb 17 7:36 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 2
    BUFFALO 1
    2ND PRD: BUF - (PP) THOMAS VANEK 22 (DEREK ROY, JASON POMINVILLE)
    14:55

    Penguins vs. SabresFeb 17 7:30 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 2
    BUFFALO 0
    2ND PRD: PIT - (PP) PETR SYKORA 19 (EVGENI MALKIN, SERGEI GONCHAR)
    9:28

    Penguins vs. SabresFeb 17 7:18 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 1
    BUFFALO 0
    2ND PRD: PIT - JARKKO RUUTU 1 (RYAN MALONE, ROB SCUDERI) 7:28

    Penguins vs. SabresFeb 17 7:12 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 0
    BUFFALO 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PIT 6 6
    BUF 17 17
    GOALIES: PIT - TY CONKLIN
    BUF - RYAN MILLER

    Feb 17 6:41 PM
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