The Buffalo Sabres open the 2012-2013 campaign at home after starting last season on a lengthy European road trip. The first opponent to meet the new and improved Buffalo Sabres will be the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Buffalo Sabres face the Penguins on four occasions in 2012-2013.
Saturday, October 13, 2012 (7PM, First Niagara Center)
Sunday February 17, 2013 (730PM, First Niagara Center)
Sunday March 10, 2013 (7PM, Consol Energy Center)
Saturday March 16, 2013 (1PM Consol Energy Center)
In four games last season, the Buffalo Sabres went 2-2 splitting the season series – and were outscored 17-15. The Sabres were 0-10 on the powerplay against the Penguins; while allowing six PPG in 14 attempts.
The journey from July 1st to the Stanley Cup seemed destined to travel through Pittsburgh as GM Ray Shero had his heart set on all the top names in free agency, looking to land one or more big names to bolster an already potent team. Ryan Suter and Zach Parise were wooed, but the call of the Wild was too strong despite the fact that they could have ended up playing with the face of hockey Sidney Crosby and Mr. Trophy Evgeni Malkin.
There has also been an exodus of players from the Pens organization as they have lost the talents of Jordan Staal, Arron Asham, Steve Sullivan, and Zbynek Michalek.
All is not lost for the Pittsburgh Penguins who will still put a winning product on the ice for several years. Despite their losses, Andi Perelman of Bleacher Report outlines what the Penguins brought into the organization:
Well to be straightforward here is what they have gained: Tomas Vokoun (a goalie that has experience and has to be more solid than Johnson), Tanner Glass (the new and improved Arron Asham), Brandon Sutter (the new third-line center with some uncanny similarities to Jordan Staal– a ridiculous amount of close family members who have played in the NHL and both are solid defensive forwards), and a solid pool of prospects (not to mention the 2 awesome defensemen picked up in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft in June).
While the Buffalo Sabres have gotten tougher this off season, if they want to be more successful when it comes to the post season, the Sabres have to figure out a way to beat teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins. With the added toughness and depth, the Sabres will keep the series season even with the Penguins, once again going 2-2 – as they still have no way to compete against the volume of talent the Penguins bring.