PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 15: Jordan Staal #11 of the Pittsburgh Penguins carries the puck past Thomas Vanek #26 of the Buffalo Sabres during the game on October 15, 2011 at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Entering tonight the Pittsburgh Penguins had played five games, and not lost any in regulation. Facing a Buffalo Sabres team on the back-end of their doubleheader combined with them starting backup Jhonas Enroth and it might have seemed the boys in black in gold (ehh, dark and light blue) may have been sitting pretty.
But again without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, this game looked like a lot of the games in the tail end of the 2010-11 Penguins season. They worked hard, played relatively well, but once a team without star power gets down on the scoreboard early, it's tough to pull out wins.
That's the story of game six for the Penguins, a 3-2 loss to the Sabres.
Some more thoughts on the game:
- Steve Sullivan sure is a joy to watch play hockey- he has the skill in his hands, skating ability in his legs and mind to think the game that opens up a lot of room in the offensive zone, even at even strength.
- Another game, another goal for James Neal. Too bad Dallas won that trade by poaching Alex Goligoski away, right?
- As pointed it out by Pensburgh friend Allie on twitter- this is the second game in a row for Mark Letestu that he started out centering the de facto top line and mid-game saw himself bumped down to a plugging line. Throw in the mix of healthy scratches and it's starting to look like one of last year's coach's pets is spending more and more time in the doghouse.
- Paul Martin plays a game you have to watch in person to be able to capture how he is a special player that deserves to make $5 million. Seriously, the next time you get a chance to watch a game with your own eyes and not on a camera, follow Martin for a shift. You'll be amazed at his positioning, stick use, passing ability and decision making.
- The Pens had 11 missed shots in the first period. Sort of the story of the game- not quite there.
- Great set play in the game's final minute that Dan Bylsma drew up during a Buffalo timeout. With the goalie pulled they stashed Sullivan all the way on the left side for a right side. Martin got a good chance but couldn't finish it.