Tristan Jarry stopped all 36 shots the Buffalo Sabres threw at him on his way to leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-0 win over the Sabres. The Pens got a couple of ‘puck luck’ goals in the first two periods and cruised to victory in the third against a disjointed Buffalo team on the second half of a back-to-back.
The Sabres went with an 11-7 lineup tonight against the Pens. The last time they played with 7 D was in their 6-4 win in Toronto last week. Tonight, it didn’t work. Mattias Samuelsson rejoined the roster after missing three games on the IR. Victor Olofsson drew into the lineup while Peyton Krebs, who only played 6:05 last night, watched from the press box. Matt Savoie, who made his NHL debut last night, was sent to his junior team earlier today.
Tristan Jarry vs. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (UPL) started in nets.
Jeff Skinner– Tage Thompson – JJ Peterka
Jordan Greenway – Casey Mittelstadt – Lukas Rousek
Zemgus Girgensons – Dylan Cozens – Kyle Okposo
Victor Olofsson – Tyson Jost
Rasmus Dahlin – Mattias Samuelsson
Owen Power – Henri Jokiharju
Connor Clifton – Erik Johnson
Lots of shots
It was a good start for the Sabres, who had piled up 7 shots on net by the 5:00 mark. Nothing dangerous, but at least they were taking shots. But then the momentum shifted and by the 12:30 mark, the Pens were up 9-8 on shots.
Through most of the period, the teams traded shots on goal, but to be honest, neither goalie had to make any big stops. Most shots were coming from the outside.
Buffalo got a powerplay opportunity with just over four minutes to play. Their PP troubles continued as they were unable to get any possession in the Penguins’ end for the last 30 seconds, generating one shot on Tristan Jarry.
About a minute later, at 19:01, Evgeni Malkin scored a lucky one from the backboards when he backhanded a shot off the back of UPL’s mask and into the net. I felt bad for UPL on that one; he had a really solid period before that.
Shots in the period were 15-14 for the Penguins.
Bad goal doubles the lead
The Pens almost doubled their lead three minutes in when Bryan Rust rang one off the post behind UPL from the slot.
The Pens did double their lead at 16:24 when Drew O’Connor beat UPL with a wrist shot from just inside the blueline. Bad goal to give up for UPL, and he knew it as soon as it trickled through.
Right after the goal, UPL came up with a couple of nice stops, including one on Sidney Crosby on a 2-on-1 chance.
Like the first period, while the Sabres had plenty of shots on net, they were mostly unscreened and from the outside. Not a lot of grade-A chances.
Shots in the period were 14-11 for Pittsburgh.
More of the same in the third
On a powerplay to start the period, the Pens went up 3-0 when Erik Karlsson’s shot was deflected by Erik Johnson right under the bar behind UPL. That one was just a bit of bad puck luck for UPL and the Sabres.
The Sabres pulled UPL with 4:10 remaining to try to get something going. It didn’t work. With 1:49 to go, Karlsson scored his second of the night to make it 4-0.
Shots were 11-11 in the third and 40-36 overall for Pittsburgh.
- The Sabres looked disjointed tonight on the second half of their back-to-back. I don’t know if it was fatigue or that they were playing with 7 defensemen, but they just didn’t have any energy going. It seemed like an easy win for the Penguins.
- It really didn’t feel like the Sabres put 36 shots on net tonight. The stats say they did, but not many of them were quality scoring chances. In my mind, there were maybe three or four good quality chances. The Sabres made Tristan Jarry look good tonight.
- The powerplay struggles, in my opinion, are not being helped by the struggles with faceoffs. How many times have we seen the Sabres lose the faceoff in the opposing end, the puck gets cleared and then the Sabres have trouble establishing possession in the offensive zone. If they fix the faceoff problem, it’ll help with the PP.
- Part of the problem with having powerplay issues is that you don’t benefit from the momentum shifts that PP goals provide. With all the offensive talent on this team, they’ll figure it out; I just hope that it’s soon.
- So, a couple of bad goals against UPL tonight, which is frustrating because he was otherwise good.
- Ryan Johnson only got 11:18 of ice time tonight, which tells me he’s ranked #7 in this lineup. If that’s the case, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is sent back to Rochester. That would be too bad, in my opinion, because he’s shown that he’s NHL-ready.
- The loss tonight didn’t help things in the standings. They’re now 7th in their division with their .500 record.
Catch up on all the Sabres results and upcoming schedule here.