The Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins will face each other three times this coming NHL season, including two meetings in Pittsburgh and just one in Buffalo.
This matches the three times the teams met last season after the lockout. Pittsburgh won the first meeting, with Buffalo taking the final two.
The Penguins defeated the Sabres, 4-3 on February 17 in the lone game in Buffalo. Pascal Dupuis had a pair of goals and an assist, while Sidney Crosby had a goal and assist in the win. Chris Kunitz had a pair of assists, while Buffalo goals came from Cody Hodgson, Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott. Paul Martin also scored for Pittsburgh.
Then, Buffalo got their revenge with a 4-1 win in Pittsburgh on April 2 followed by a 4-2 victory (also in the ‘Burgh) on April 23. The April 2nd victory snapped the Penguins 15-game winning streak as Kevin Porter had a pair of goals, and Steve Ott and Cody Hodgson also tallied for Buffalo. Jarome Iginla scored the lone goal for the Penguins.
Finally, on April 23, Thomas Vanek had two goals, Jochen Hecht and Steve Ott scored as Buffalo defeated Pittsburgh, 4-2. Once again on the Penguins side, Jarome Iginla scored, with Chris Kunitz also putting up a goal. Ryan Miller stopped 40 of 42 shots faced in the win.
This season, the team will look a little different, as Pittsburgh lost several players to free agency.
Jarome Iginla, who was really more of a temporary signing than anything else, will join the Boston Bruins while Douglas Murray heads off to Montreal. (Side note: both of those might be decent ‘ouch’ factors for Buffalo in the coming season, since the Sabres will have to face them on their new teams several times.)
The Penguins also lost Matt Cooke and Tyler Kennedy through free agency, which will shake things up a little on the team moving forward. They also signed Rob Scuderi, who previously played with the Penguins and won a Cup with the team in 2009.
Players to Watch
- PITTSBURGH: Always. watch. out. for. Sidney Crosby. (And Evgeni Malkin). Seriously, the Penguins have several seriously good quality players and Buffalo has to keep them under wraps if they want to come out victorious. From the Winter Classic to the Olympics, everyone knows Ryan Miller’s record against Crosby, who, by the way, has 32 points (12-20) in 22 career NHL games against the Sabres. Malkin? 31 points in 24 games. James Neal? Eight points in 10 games. Do I need to continue?
- BUFFALO: Defenseman Mark Pysyk had three points in two games against the Pittsburgh Penguins last season during his time in the NHL, so he could be a force this season for the Sabres roster. Drew Stafford has scored 14 career points in 22 games against the Penguins, and former Philadelphia Flyers forward Ville Leino has seven points in 11 games versus Pittsburgh.
Meetings This Season
- October 5 @ PIT
- January 27 @ PIT
- February 5 @ BUF