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Vanek, Miller help Sabres edge Penguins

Dec 9, 2008 - 5:11 AM
PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Thomas Vanek picked up his NHL-leading 20th goal in the third period and Ryan Miller made 29 saves to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday.

Derek Roy, Ales Kotalik and Daniel Paille scored for the Sabres, who have won two in a row after three straight losses. They have won only four of their last 12 contests.

Tied at 3-3 and 6:13 remaining in the third, Jochen Hecht sent the puck into the goal mouth where goaltender Dany Sabourin made the initial save. But Jason Pominville circled behind the net, grabbed a short rebound and fed an unmarked Vanek on the doorstep for the game-winning goal.

"I saw it come around the rim first and I then went to the backdoor and I saw (Pominville), and it was a great play by (Pominville) to lay it in there," Vanek said.

With the goal, Vanek moves past Jeff Carter of the Philadelphia Flyers into sole possession of the league lead.

"I really don't think about it too much," Vanek said. "It's not important, more important is that we got the win here. We've got to keep winning, that's more important."

Ruslan Fedotenko scored a pair of goals and defenseman Kris Letang also tallied for Pittsburgh.

Evgeni Malkin and Petr Sykora had a pair of assists for the Penguins.

Fedotenko opened the scoring at 9:37 of the first period when Malkin showed off some flashy puck-handling. The All-Star center took a pass from Sykora and faked out the defense by sending the puck between his legs before feeding Fedotenko on the doorstep.

"I'm just trying to shoot right away, don't wait, and a lot of times you catch the goalie facing in another direction," Fedotenko said. "The quicker you put the puck to the net, it seems like the easier the goal will be."

Roy's tally tied the game before the combination of Fedotenko, Malkin and Sykora hooked up again to put Pittsburgh on top, 2-1, at the end of the first.

"We didn't do a very good job early," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "We lost coverage. The main thing we talked about was coverage on the Malkin line. It wasn't very good, we let them loose, we were a step behind them. We got caught a little in the neutral zone on one goal and it cost us."

Letang's power-play goal at the 91-second mark of the middle session pushed it to 3-1 before the Sabres came scratching back.

Kotalik scored his seventh goal of the season at the 6:40 mark of the second and Paille tied the game with 5:11 remaining in the period when the Penguins failed to clear the puck. Paille stole a short clearing attempt and put it in as Sabourin fell to his back.

"At 3-1, we started to play horribly," Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien. "It's pretty simple. We weren't playing bad until we got the lead at 3-1. After that, we were horrible. We gave them the game. We couldn't get the puck out on the second goal.

"And on the third goal, we didn't want to take the puck deep. We turned the puck over in our own end. We had a hard time staying on our feet. Like I said, it was a horrible performance. That's the truth."

Miller made a number of big saves in the third, including one in which he reached back and grabbed the puck with the webbing of his glove just before it crossed the goal line.

"It doesn't matter where we are, we have to focus on our game," Sabres defenseman Jaroslav Spacek said. "A 3-3 game, we have to play smart and wait for them. At home they try to play

aggressive, they had a couple chances. Pittsburgh had a couple chances early and then on the power play, but nothing really 5-on-5 (after the first)."

Sabourin made 25 saves for Pittsburgh, which has dropped two in a row.

"Excuses are for losers," Therrien said. "You can have excuses - we are missing players, we've played a lot of games. As far as I'm concerned, they should play for 60 minutes and they aren't playing for 60 minutes right now."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 1 2 1 4
    PITTSBURGH 2 1 0 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - RUSLAN FEDOTENKO 6 (EVGENI MALKIN, PETR SYKORA) 9:37
    BUF - DEREK ROY 8 (UNASSISTED) 11:07
    PIT - RUSLAN FEDOTENKO 7 (EVGENI MALKIN, PETR SYKORA) 15:15
    2ND PRD: PIT - (PP) KRISTOPHER LETANG 1 (SIDNEY CROSBY) 1:31


    Dec 8 10:07 PM
  • 40
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 15 roots (Close Finish)

    Sabres 4, Penguins 3  3rd - 1:48Dec 8 10:03 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 4
    PITTSBURGH 3
    3RD PRD: BUF - THOMAS VANEK 20 (JASON POMINVILLE, JOCHEN HECHT) 6:13

    Sabres 4, Penguins 3  3rd - 13:47Dec 8 9:40 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 1 2 3
    PITTSBURGH 2 1 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - RUSLAN FEDOTENKO 6 (EVGENI MALKIN, PETR SYKORA) 9:37
    BUF - DEREK ROY 8 (UNASSISTED) 11:07
    PIT - RUSLAN FEDOTENKO 7 (EVGENI MALKIN, PETR SYKORA) 15:15
    2ND PRD: PIT - (PP) KRISTOPHER LETANG 1 (SIDNEY

    Dec 8 9:14 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 3
    PITTSBURGH 3
    2ND PRD: BUF - DANIEL PAILLE 3 (PAUL GAUSTAD) 14:49

    Sabres 3, Penguins 3  2nd - 5:11Dec 8 9:07 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    PITTSBURGH 3
    2ND PRD: BUF - ALES KOTALIK 7 (ADAM MAIR, MAXIM AFINOGENOV) 6:40

    Sabres 2, Penguins 3  2nd - 13:20Dec 8 8:46 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    PITTSBURGH 3
    2ND PRD: PIT - (PP) KRISTOPHER LETANG 1 (SIDNEY CROSBY) 1:31 (TWO-MAN
    ADVANTAGE)

    Sabres 1, Penguins 3  2nd - 18:29Dec 8 8:39 PM
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    millsythekiwi Added 5 roots

    Sabres 1, Penguins 2  End of 1stDec 8 8:30 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 1 1
    PITTSBURGH 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - RUSLAN FEDOTENKO 6 (EVGENI MALKIN, PETR SYKORA) 9:37
    BUF - DEREK ROY 8 (UNASSISTED) 11:07
    PIT - RUSLAN FEDOTENKO 7 (EVGENI MALKIN, PETR SYKORA) 15:15
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    ---

    Dec 8 8:17 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    PITTSBURGH 2
    1ST PRD: PIT - RUSLAN FEDOTENKO 7 (EVGENI MALKIN, PETR SYKORA) 15:15

    Sabres 1, Penguins 2  1st - 4:45Dec 8 8:09 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    PITTSBURGH 1
    1ST PRD: BUF - DEREK ROY 8 (UNASSISTED) 11:07

    Sabres 1, Penguins 1  1st - 8:53Dec 8 8:00 PM
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    bouch Added 5 roots

    Sabres 0, Penguins 1  1st - 10:23Dec 8 7:59 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 0
    PITTSBURGH 1
    1ST PRD: PIT - RUSLAN FEDOTENKO 6 (EVGENI MALKIN, PETR SYKORA) 9:37

    Sabres 0, Penguins 1  1st - 10:23Dec 8 7:57 PM
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    Silversword55 Added 5 roots

    Sabres vs. PenguinsDec 8 7:11 AM
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    mthomas720 Added 5 roots

    Sabres vs. PenguinsDec 7 2:40 PM
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    aqualung1 Added 5 roots

    Sabres vs. PenguinsNov 11 11:07 PM