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Monday, December 08, 2008

Game Recap: Buffalo Sabres 4 - Pittsburgh Penguins 3

Ruslan Fedotenko scored two goals and Kris Letang scored his first goal of the season, but the Pittsburgh Penguins blew a 3-1 lead to lose 4-3 to the Buffalo Sabres. Evgeni Malkin and Petr Sykora had the assists on both Fedotenko goals and Sidney Crosby assisted the goal by Letang.

The Penguins had two five-on-three opportunities, including a full two minute advantage in the second period, but failed to score on either of them. Their powerplay was 1-for-7 on the night.

After Kris Letang scored to make it 3-1 in the second I actually thought to myself "This could be the most complete game the Penguins have played all year." They looked absolutely dominant up until that point. But a Penguins lead is the most dangerous lead in hockey. The remainder of the second period was a nightmare for the Pens, who still have not learned to play a full 60 minute game.

Malkin and Crosby had good games, but Ryan Miller stood on his head and helped hold the Sabres' fort. Miroslav Satan seems to have lost his scoring touch. Pascal Dupuis is unbelievably frustrating. He manages to get open frequently, but still cannot shoot the puck to save his life. Michel Therrien must have a problem with Janne Pesonen. I only saw him on the ice once tonight. Mike Zigomanis was seriously missed in the faceoff circle for the Pens.

The Penguins powerplay needs to be more than just setting Malkin up for slapshots. That isn't working. A powerplay that includes Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Satan and Goligoski should be able to score goals.

Overall tonight's game was the epitome of collapse for the Penguins, who looked horrible for the majority of the second and some of the third. It was like a different team played the first period. Perhaps injuries are catching up to them.

The Penguins next game is Wednesday night in New Jersey.

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