The Buffalo Sabres squandered yet another opportunity. Up 1-0 on a Rob Niedermayer goal, yes that’s right number 20 put another puck in the net, the Sabres, poised to take over seventh place in the standings, stand still as the Pittsburgh Penguins gained control of the game in the second period and never looked back.
In just over a month the Pittsburgh Penguins have won two games in regulation, both against the Buffalo Sabres. The Penguins won tonight because the Buffalo offense stalled miserably all game. Maybe it was because the “core” of this team was in the press box or their hotel room, as Vanek, Hecht, Grier, and Kaleta all sat out tonight’s contest. That’s not to say that the Penguins didn’t have injuries themselves to deal with, however – the Penguins proved they have much more NHL ready depth to deal with injuries than the Buffalo Sabres, which has been proven time and time again in the playoffs.
So the Sabres dropped one to the Penguins on this road trip. It’s the first time since new owner Terry Pegula has taken over the team that the Sabres haven’t gotten at least a point. It doesn’t mean that the panic button has to be depressed so hard that Tim Kennedy feels it, it just means that the Buffalo Sabres have to rebound from this loss, they cannot dwell on it, they cannot let it turn into a slide, this team is skating on very thin ice where the post season is concerned, and can ill afford to take on any sort of significant losing streaks.