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Penguins 5 Sabres 4: Sidney Crosby Tricks Sabres to Giveaway Victory

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There is so much to say about the game tonight, I don't know where I should start. I could start with the Penguins fast start, the Sabres coming back and taking control of the game, The Penguins coming back to win the game, the poor play of Ryan Miller or the HEROICS of Sidney Crosby. Let's start right in the beginning.

How many times do the Sabres have to be burned before they realize they can't take so many chances?

There is no doubt in my mind this team will never learn when they should pinch and when they shouldn't. The first Penguins goal was scored in the first minute of the game and it came on a 2-on-1. I would love to give credit to Penguins for earning that 2-on-1 opportunity but it was direct result of an awful play in the offensive zone by craig Rivet. Rivet pinched in despite three forwards already being pinned in deep, when he couldn't retrieve the puck it was quickly turned into an odd man rush and the result was a quick 1-0 lead for the Penguins.

The Sabres deserve some credit for taking advantage of an early power play and gaining some momentum that led to a 2-1 lead. They added to that lead on a pretty tic-tac-toe play from MacArthur, Grier and Kennedy with Kennedy burying the goal.

That is when the wheels came off for the Sabres and Ryan Miller. Chris Butler took a hooking penalty near the midway point of the game and the Penguins followed the Sabres power play blue print and scored one of their own with the man advantage. It was a pretty passing play that resulted in the first goal of the night for Crosby.

With the Sabres ahead 3-2, Miller had five minutes of play that he would like to forget. Jordan Staal scored and Crosby added two more, including a goal that was basically handed to him by Miller. Miller tried to clear the puck but put it right on the stick of Crosby and Crosby won't miss an open net. Miller dove back and got his glove on it but it ricocheted towards the net and over the goal line.

The third period was a struggle for the Sabres who didn't get any offense going until they scored a power play goal to cut the score to 5-4 in the final three minutes of the game. They had another power play opportunity and pulled Miller for a 6-on-4 but Fluery made a couple of nice saves for the victory.

Corsi Ratings  |  Event Summary  |  PensBurgh

Final Thoughts
  • I love how Crosby gets all the hype when one of his goals should have been stopped by Miller and the other was a wide open net after Miller gave the puck away. There is no doubt that he is an incredible player, we don't need to give him more credit than he deserves.
  • I know most of you could care less about the giveaway stats but I thought it was interesting the Sabres had well over 20 in a 2-1 win over the Bruins last week and they had only 2 (Miller credited with 0) in the 5-4 loss tonight. I'm sure those stats are accurate {sarcasm}
  • Steve Montador and Toni Lydman were both a minus-2 but I don't think they were the Sabres worst blueliners tonight. Rivet and Butler looked awful IMO despite finishing even.
  • Should we start using our Tim Connolly jokes for Patrick Kaleta? He is taking over the reigns as the player who can't stay healthy.
  • I was pleased with the play of the top two offensive lines for the Sabres tonight. They were dominant at times. If I had to single out players I would say that Derek Roy, Thomas Vanek and Jochen Hecht all had strong games tonight.

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