Another strong performance by Ty Conklin leads the Penguins to a 4-1 win in Buffalo.
-Paul Steigerwald busts out that "little tiger" nickname for Tyler Kennedy. Lame.
-Michel Therrien shuffled the lines a bit. He sticks Maxime Talbot on the top line with Evgeni Malkin and Peter Sykora. He slid Ryan Malone down to the second line with Jordan Staal and Tyler Kennedy.
-The Penguins' official scratches were Erik Christensen, Marc-Andre Fleury and Chris Minard.
-The Sabres scratched Nathan Paetsch, Andrew Peters and Drew Stafford.
-While Dan Potash is interviewing Brooks Orpik, U2's "City of Blinding Light" is being played:
-We can't really believe we've never really brought it up before now, but that Consol Energy advertisement where some guy flips a switch and a bolt of lightning blows up the logo of the Penguins' opponent is pretty stupid.
17:58: Tim Connolly spins at the point and lobs a wrister on net. Conklin is able to kick it out.
17:31: Colby Armstrong thumps Derek Roy to the ice with a shoulder check.
16:55: Patrick Kaleta puts a shoulder into Georges Laraque along the boards and then gives him a shove. Laraque shoves him back and Kaleta flops to the ice as if he had a seizure. Laraque gets two minutes for roughing. The officials probably could've given Kaleta a diving penalty.
16:00: A puck gets played into Sergei Gonchar and drops into the crease. Thomas Vanek jumps on it and punches a backhander on net right into Conklin's mid-section. Rob Scuderi and Ryan Malone put a Doomsday Device on Vanek for sticking his nose in the crease.
14:49: Tyler Kennedy can be seen with blue scuffs on his Reebok Edge-Super-Duper-Mega-Ultra-Awesome-Humungo-Women-Will-Want-You Uniform System jersey. Equipment manager Dana Heinze must be using some cheap generic laundry detergent.
14:27: FSN Pittsburgh gives us a peek at the 3,858th different set of line combinations this season:
12:41: Ty Conklin. What more can you say about this guy? He pulls out an absolutely sick save. Roy pokes the puck by Ryan Whitney who was pinching in at the point. Roy develops a two-on-one with Connolly against Darryl Sydor. Roy enters the offensive zone and sends a cross ice pass from the right faceoff circle. Connolly takes the puck, hesitates and shoots. Conklin is able to slide across the crease and make an amazing save with his glove while falling. That's the most clutch save in this part of the world since:
11:52: The Penguins don't get a shot on net until over eight minutes in when Petr Sykora sends a nonchalant wrist shot low on net. Ryan Miller is able to squeeze his legs for the easy save.
9:05: Sykora feeds a puck from behind the net into the slot. Talbot tries to one-time it, but the puck "clacks" off the post.
6:06: Steigerwald explains the difference between the pronunciation of Daniel Paille's last name (Py-Yay) and the last name of Marcel Paille (Pie) who was a goaltender with the Rangers in the 1960's. Bob Errey quips, "What was (Marcel) Paille's goals against (average)? 3.14?" That was one of those jokes were if just about anyone else told it, it would be kind of cute. But since Errey blurted it out, it stunk.
0:08: Talbot steals a puck off Vanek in the neutral zone. He pushes it into the Sabres' zone on a three-on-one and drops it into the slot to Malkin. Malkin fakes the shot and moves it to Sykora on his right side. Sykora doesn't shoot either and slides back across the crease to Talbot who can't get his stick on the puck. Someone needs to shoot that.
0:00: End of period. Steigerwald says the Penguins "frittered away" a scoring opportunity and that makes us giggle. Penguins 0, Sabres 0.
-The Sabres destroyed the Penguins in shots, 17-6.
19:22: Rob Scuderi gets sent to the box for interference.
19:04: Vanek controls the puck to the right of the cage. He tries to center it but Sergei Gonchar blocks it. Vanek gets it back and throws it into Conklin. The puck rattles around for a moment before Conklin covers it.
17:47: Connolly takes the puck at the point. He fakes a shot, moves by Armstrong and lobs a wrister on net right into the mid-section of Conklin who eats it up.
17:44: A puck leaves play and hits a fan in the noggin. It's probably not a good sign that someone in a Chris Gratton jersey was the first person to help him. That's like depending on someone in a Robert Dome jersey to give you CPR.
17:03: Sykora works the puck into the offensive zone, surveys the situation and elects to fire a slapper. His shot rings off the post.
14:42: Jarkko Ruutu gets nailed for hooking.
13:19: Malkin moves the puck into the offensive zone going against two Sabres. He tries to get by Ales Kotalik and loses control of the puck and slides into the net dislodging it. Connolly picks up the loose puck and the Sabres work it back up ice. After a shot misses the net, Whitney grabs the puck and the officials blow the whistle for the dislodged net. Why wouldn't play have stopped when the net was initially knocked off? We understand there's a rule in place that concerning the net being knocked off, but it's stupid. The Penguins touched the puck, play was stopped and the faceoff will be in their end of the ice. They were essentially penalized for touching the puck.
12:32: Ruutu's penalty expires and Malone spots him. Malone sends a pass to the red line to Ruutu who pulls away from Jaroslav Spacek. Ruutu bears down on net, dekes, does a bit of a shoulder juke and moves to the backhand roofing it by Miller. It's the same move Ruutu has seemingly used on every breakaway, shootout or penalty shot he's ever been involved with in his life. You'd think goaltenders would know what to expect by now. Penguins 1-0.
11:23: Michael Ryan gets called for slashing and the Penguins get their first power play of the night.
11:01: One of the referees, Gord Dwyer, gets hit in the hand with a deflected shot. He's cut and gets patched up by the Sabres trainer.
10:32: Sometimes you can't help score. Malkin fires a loose puck from the crease on net. Henrik Tallinder blocks the puck with his stick but the puck hops to the other side of the slot where Sykora swings at it and juuust gets a piece of it and re-directs the puck into the net. Penguins 2-0.
9:05: Staal brings the puck up ice. He gets bumped to the ice by Kotalik but still gets a shot on net that Miller kicks out. Kotalik is sent to the box for holding.
5:44: Colby Armstrong and Kaleta gets involved. Armstrong drops his gloves and shoves Kaleta. Kaleta doesn't bite and skates away. Armstrong gets two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct. Seemingly every time the Sabres go on a power play at home, they "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" by the Dropkick Murphys:
5:15: Roy throws the puck into the slot from the far boards. It hits Gonchar and stops. Vanek jumps on it and fires it by a prone Conklin. Penguins 2-1.
1:16: Brian Campbell fires a slapper from the point. Connolly re-directs the puck, but Conklin is able to knock it down and cover it up.
0:08: Conklin plays the puck from behind his net around the boards. Ruutu picks it up and moves it into the neutral zone. Jeff Taffe chips it past Spacek back to Ruutu springing him on a breakaway again. Miller comes out to poke-check it, but Ruutu pulls that same deke to the backhand move again. He gets by Miller, but the puck slides off his stick before he can lift it.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 2, Sabres 1.
-The Penguins are still getting mauled in shots on net, 27-12.
-No Mike Yeo before the third period. Blech.
-Instead we get "Electric" Andre Savard instead who looks like he just woke up.
18:21: Malkin and Campbell, who's a solid physical presence, wrestle for a puck along the near board. Malkin thumps him to the ice with seemingly little effort.
16:12: Malone chips the puck up the ice for Armstrong. Armstrong comes up along the near boards, streaks in laterally towards the net and has the puck poked away by Nolan Pratt. Malone follows up and fires the loose puck. Miller blindly makes a nice save.
15:12: Roy comes up ice, pulls up in the crease and throws a wrister on net. Conklin knocks it down and covers it up.
14:48: Malkin gets a pass from Sykora and moves into the offensive zone. He tries to wedge himself between Tallinder and Toni Lydman. He falls to his knees and is still able to shoot a puck on net. Miller is able to cover it up.
13:27: Coming back from commercial, we see that Ryan Malone is cutting up beer cozies and stuffing them in his skates.
11:47: Sykora chugs up ice and centers a pass to Talbot in the slot. The puck deflects off Talbot and Lydman. Malkin follows up on it and pokes the loose puck into the cage before sliding into it himself. Penguins 3-1.
10:33: Lydman stands Malkin up at the blue line and power bombs him.
8:04: Campbell throws a shot on net. Conklin kicks it out into the slot. Vanek tries to backhand the rebound in, but is hooked by Armstrong. Two minutes.
6:35: Jordan Staal gets away with a trip on Spacek.
5:42: Tallinder is called for hooking.
5:32: Errey begins a campaign for fans to wear neckties to home games in honor of Ty Conklin.
1:42: Miller is pulled in favor of an extra attacker.
1:12: Armstrong fights for a puck in the neutral zone and throws it at the cage for one of us. It is Armstrong's first goal since the Winter Classic, Jan. 1. Penguins 4-1.
0:00: End of game. Penguins 4, Sabres 1.
-Ty Conklin. Just sick.
-What's up with that little green decal the Sabres were wearing on the back of their helmets?
-The Penguins were out-shot 37-25.
EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS
-Sidney Crosby is mum about when he's coming back.
-Ray Shero follows those stupid rules.
-The Penguins were one of seven teams scouting Colorado forward Andrew Brunette yesterday.
-Ryan Callahan's two goals helped the Rangers down the Sharks, 3-1.
-Alex Kovalev had a goal and two assists for the Canadiens in a 5-3 defeat of the Flyers who lost their seventh consecutive game. The win pulls the Canadiens into a tie in points with the Eastern Conference leading Senators but the Senators still hold on to first place by virtue of a tiebreaker.
-Montreal forward Steve Begin destroyed Denis Tolpeko and took down Jason Smith pretty easily last night:
-Sabres general manager wants the NHL to start up a research and development department.
-James Wisniewski assisted on both of the Blackhawk's goals in a 2-1 edging of the Avalanche.
-The Blackhawks honored victims of the shooting tragedy at Northern Illinois University by wearing decals on the back of their helmets.
-Eric Brewer had four assists for the Blues in a 5-1 defeat of the Blue Jackets.
-Chicago signed defenseman Brent Seabrook to a two-year contract extension.
-The Blue Jackets activated forward Sergei Fedorov from injured reserve.
-Marian Gaborik scored two goals, including one in overtime, and gave the Wild a 5-4 win against Nashville.
-Marty Turco made 28 saves and recorded his 32nd career shutout in a 1-0 defeat of the Red Wings. Detroit has lost six consecutive games.
-Ryan Getzlaf and Chris Pronger each had a goal and an assist for the Ducks in a 4-2 defeat of the Flames. Teemu Selanne scored his 670th career point with the Ducks and set a new franchise scoring mark.
-Kings defenseman Rob Blake doesn't want to leave Los Angeles. (Registration required)
-The Kings assigned forward Brian Boyle to Manchester of the AHL. In his place, the recalled forward Lauri Tukonen.
-Could advertisements on jerseys be on the horizon for the NHL?