Skip to content

Buffalo can’t solve Fleury in 3-0 loss to Penguins

Jan 27, 2014, 10:28 PM EDT

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller did his part tonight by stopping 31 of 33 shots against the offensively gifted Pittsburgh Penguins, but his teammates couldn’t help him out. The Sabres fired 24 shots on goal against Marc-Andre Fleury and the Penguins’ netminder turned them all aside in a 3-0 win on Monday.

The Penguins outshot the Sabres 15-5 in the first period, but this game was still scoreless through 20 minutes. It wasn’t until the Penguins were given the opportunity to gang up on Miller for a sustained period of time that Chris Kunitz finally broke the tie.

Although Deryk Engelland provided the Penguins with some extra breathing room and Tanner Glass later sealed the deal with an empty-net goal, Kunitz’s marker proved to be enough for Fleury tonight. It was his fourth shutout of the season and Fleury is now just one victory away from becoming the first goalie to reach the 30-win milestone in 2013-14.

Buffalo is the second team in the league to lose 30 games in regulation and remains dead-last in the NHL with 35 points. Meanwhile the Penguins improved to 37-14-2 and have surpassed the 75-point mark before any other team in the Metropolitan Division reached 60.

  1. penvik - Jan 27, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    1st in PK & PP. If Fleury keeps his sport psychologist employed the Penguins look really good. That’s assuming Shero adds at the trade deadline. Bottom six is a bit thin.

    • steelpenbucs87 - Jan 28, 2014 at 9:08 AM

      Agree completely – especially about adding to the bottom six. The question will be whether they go after a top 6 winger and then let things trickle down, or if they add straight to the bottom six.

      My guess would be that they do one of each – adding a top six guy at a reasonable price, and then add a bottom six guy who won’t command much. I actually wouldn’t have been too mad to see Ott stick around in Pittsburgh. Would add a bunch of sand to the Pens bottom six that doesn’t exist beyond Glass and Engo

      • basedrum777 - Jan 28, 2014 at 1:17 PM

        The return of Beau (whenever that happens) will go to strengthen either the top 6 or the bottom 6 if they move Gibbons down to line 3. If they get another piece that’s fine but its not like past years where they had a glaring need to me.

      • killerpgh - Jan 28, 2014 at 2:49 PM

        I wouldn’t mind seeing Ott was well. One of those guys you hate when he plays against your favorite team, but love while he is battling for you team. Seems to be playing a more disciplined styles this year since getting the “C”. Good face-off guy as well. But I think his cost will be too high.

        I really like Bennett’s potential. But his ability to stay healthy has been an issue since he has been drafted.

  2. c9castine - Jan 27, 2014 at 10:42 PM

    meanwhile, olympian carey price is letting up 4 goals a game. or rather, in the 2 periods that he plays.

    • lowenni - Jan 27, 2014 at 10:48 PM

      Interesting case to be made for Fleury’s inclusion on the Olympic team…As a Caps fan, I must admit he’s played very, very well this season and there’s no denying his stats are fantastic. Undoubtedly what left him off the team was his recent playoff failures. But Smith and Price are both struggling mightily, and I think Fleury has regained his confidence this season. Part of it has to do with a MUCH better defense that the Pens have this year, so some credit has to be attributed to that, but he’d get great D in Sochi too. Interesting. Either way Luongo will start for Canada, but I do think Fleury should’ve probably been included.

      • c9castine - Jan 27, 2014 at 11:40 PM

        listen im not even necessarily saying fleury should go but price going to sochi and people thinking he is so good puzzles me.

        there seems to be a double standard. while fleury went to back to back finals and won a cup, a couple of bad team playoffs have given him a bad name. but if your criteria is what have you don’t for me recently in the playoffs, NOT ONE of the guys going has done any more winning than Fleury, and NOT ONE has a stanley cup and NOT ONE has matched the amount of games fleury has won in recent years.

      • steelpenbucs87 - Jan 28, 2014 at 9:10 AM

        I think as much as the playoff failures, they also look at his meltdown at Juniors back in the day.

  3. lowenni - Jan 27, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    Please…Buffalo can’t solve any goalie.

  4. pitpenguinsrulez - Jan 27, 2014 at 10:47 PM

    Great game. Pens came to play in this one. Hopefully they come with a similiar performance vs LA on Thursday night.

    Now if you don’t mind I’m out to get my hunting clothes so I don’t freeze to death while walking around the University of Pittsburgh tomorrow.

  5. terrier92 - Jan 27, 2014 at 10:52 PM

    Fleury’s stats are meaningless

    It’s all about what he and Pen’s do in the playoffs and frankly I do not think they stack up

    They don’t go 4 lines deep , D is suspect and Fleury has to prove he can be playoff goalie

    Pens won’t get past Bruins

    • lowenni - Jan 27, 2014 at 11:01 PM

      Honestly they don’t need 4 really deep lines because they have Malkin and Crosby who alone provide more offensive depth than 90% of the teams in the league. I’m not a Pens fan and I agree that Fleury has to (re)prove himself in the playoffs, but those stats aren’t “meaningless”. He’s been very good and has the potential to once again be an elite goalie like he was in the past, that’s a fact. Also, the D is not suspect this year. It’s quite solid actually. Niskanen has probably been the most underrated defender in the league this year. Maatta’s a stud. Scuderi Orpik and Martin are all rocks. Letang is extremely talented. Pretty solid. I assume you’re a Bruins fan, and I think the Bruins are the best team in the East, but don’t be an a** about the Pens. They’re a damn good team, and I’m a Caps fan so it pains me to say that. Don’t use their past failures just to glorify your own team right now.

      • c9castine - Jan 27, 2014 at 11:52 PM

        they have failed just as much as the pens, or i it not counted as failure when they expectations aren’t as high?

    • President Charles Logan - Jan 27, 2014 at 11:27 PM

      isnt a terrier a little poodle looking pussie doggie?

      • therooneyskilledwebster - Jan 28, 2014 at 12:09 AM

        I think he’s referring to Boston University, which is an excellent school and whose alumni include John Cullen, Shawn McEachern, Scott Young and Joe Sacco, all of who played for an NHL team who is named after a flightless bird.

      • killerpgh - Jan 28, 2014 at 12:14 AM

        When did Joe Sacco play for the Pens?

      • therooneyskilledwebster - Jan 28, 2014 at 12:27 AM

        Wrong Terrier. Ryan Whitney another B.U./Pitt alum.

    • c9castine - Jan 27, 2014 at 11:51 PM

      blah blah blah about the bruins. pens go 4 lines deep we have had numerous guys on the IR all year. this is the healthiest we have been for a while and we got depth goals go figure. somehow we still score more than the bruins by a margin.

      defense is 5th ranked in NHL and fleury still has 40 playoff wins and a Cup he has nothing to prove to you at this point, only himself.

    • elemeno89 - Jan 28, 2014 at 9:47 AM

      haha. I love when these nonsensical comments tget down voted into oblivion.

  6. therooneyskilledwebster - Jan 27, 2014 at 10:54 PM

    The only thing worth taking out of this is that last sentence in which it is noted that the Pens have hit 75 points while no other team in that god awful division has hit 60. That says more about the other teams in the division than it does the Pens. Hell the Bruins are usually lucky to score 3 a night and they just totaled 12 against the Flyers and Isles.

    • killerpgh - Jan 28, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      As awful as the Metro has been the Atlantic hasn’t been any better. The average team points in the Atlantic is 56.25. The average team points in the Metro is 57.88. The overall Atlantic’s goal differential is a – 60 while the Metro’s -20. The average team ROW of the Atlantic in 20.13 and the Metro is 22.13.

  7. djamesbart - Jan 27, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    Funny… I remember hearing the same s### recently about not being able to get past the Redwings. Any other goalie in the league would take a Finals appearance, a Stanley Cup victory & a Conference Finals all in last 6 years.

  8. penvik - Jan 27, 2014 at 11:30 PM

    Without Fleury the Pens might have 7-10 more losses. Definitely shootout losses where Fleury is tops in the NHL.

  9. hazlydose - Jan 27, 2014 at 11:35 PM

    Jokenin-Malkin-Neal is not a line combo that will work in the playoffs. The only way they can score is off of the rush and they have absolutely no puck retrieval. Moving Jokenin to the third line if a winger is added will give much more scoring depth.

    • c9castine - Jan 27, 2014 at 11:55 PM

      haha at no puck retrieval you kidding me? they had a bad night but those guys take more pucks in the offensive zone than anybody. watch the winnipeg game from a few weeks ago as a clinical video.

      • hazlydose - Jan 28, 2014 at 1:36 AM

        Oh they get more pucks in the offensive zone? Then why are they sheltered and receive by far the most offensive zone starts of anyone on the team? Bylsma puts them out for O zone faceoffs because they can’t dump and chase and retrieve the puck. If that line doesn’t get a clean entry, nothing is coming out of it.

        Look at the Capitals game when Pyatt was on that line with Malkin and Jokenin. Put Jokenin on a line with Sutter and Pyatt with Malkin/Neal and we are that much deeper. Malkin needs a puck retriever so that he is free to do what he does. Look at the 2009 run when Malone or Talbot would grind for him. That’s another reason why Kunitz-Malkin-Neal was successful for his last Art Ross. Kunitz played a puck retrieval/net front presence role that makes Malkin more effective.

      • c9castine - Jan 28, 2014 at 12:44 PM

        your ridiculous man. they get a lot of offensive zone face-offs because neal and jokinen, especially neal, provide really good opportunities for goals off the face-off. its been done plenty of times before. you are almost always going to have one of your two top lines in that situation. sid is one of the better face-off takers in the league so naturally he is going to get a few more defensive zone responsibilities.

        Bylsma has always been known for having set lines but juggling them up for different effects during the game. Malkin IS the puck retriever. When he is going in hard and taking pucks he is unstoppable and can take the puck and score himself or more often than not set them up as indicated by his ridiculous amount of assists.

        Get your game together.

      • hazlydose - Jan 28, 2014 at 5:54 PM

        Evgeni Malkin’s corsi has dropped by 2/3 this season and you are arguing that his line’s puck possession game is fine.

        Your the ridiculous one. I bet your one of those fans that blindly thinks the cup is theirs and when they are bounced from the playoffs your left with your mouth agape asking why they could be embarrassed so badly. Sure, Sid and Malkin can win game by themselves in the regular season. But when the playoffs come around their current level of play isn’t going to cut it.

      • steelpenbucs87 - Jan 28, 2014 at 9:29 AM

        I agree with hazly that they could use a little bit of diversity on that line, but the notion that it “won’t work” is a little misguided. I know everyone tends to love to talk about how “playoff hockey is a different beast” blah blah blah, but its still hockey. Malkin won a Conn Smythe with a line that was constructed similarly a few years ago.

        I think what you’ll likely see is them add a winger who can play with Crosby, and then maybe roll Gibbons down to play on that line. Gibbons has shown a knack for using his speed to get on pucks in the offensive zone, but he also has shown the ability to float and find space in the offensive zone. Been really impressed with the kid.

      • c9castine - Jan 28, 2014 at 12:47 PM

        if you wanna argue that maybe putting speedy checker/scorer megna on that line instead of the brainy, elusive playmaking jokinen, i get it. that adds a dangerous element to a sutter-pyatt 3rd line. but don’t tell me that line can’t get pucks and isn’t going to work.

        gibbons is great but unless there are injuries he ends up sitting in favor of bennett megna and pyatt. however, he’s going to be important to have around and will at some point get his chance if he keeps working.

    • hockey412 - Jan 28, 2014 at 12:38 PM

      Did you just say that Malkin and Neal (go ahead and substitute any other winger’s name here) can only score off the rush? Honestly?

      Malkin is known for his ability to make plays – he controls the puck and in general will find anyone (most often Neal) who’s ready in the slot. He makes a lot of bone-headed passes, sure. But he makes a lot of great plays, too – not all that many of which occur on the rush.

      • c9castine - Jan 28, 2014 at 11:52 PM

        like i told that nub up there him and neal especially make a lot of poor decisions with the puck in the neutral zone. but that line in particular is really good at forcing turnovers and getting defenders to cough up pucks in the offensive zone. bad argument to try to make.

  10. joey4id - Jan 28, 2014 at 8:40 AM

    This is a very good bounce back year for Fleury. We could argue for his inclusion on the Olympic team. At the time the team was selected Price was playing very well, and I don’t believe his play is the reason for the higher than average goals against recently. The Montreal is not built for the long season. Last year they started to lose steam as the season ended, and now they are showing the same signs as they did last year after the same number of games. Fleury could have, and should have been selected instead of Smith. That being said, the Pens, if healthy should be able to go deep in the playoffs if Crosby and Malkin play better than they did last year vs the B’s.

    The way teams are structured right now, and unless we see major changes in the east before the trade deadline, I suspect the SC to be heading west again this year.

    • kastout11 - Jan 28, 2014 at 12:29 PM

      No way did Fleury deserve to go over Smith. Smith has been solid now for 2 seasons on a team that has struggled putting the puck in the net, and playing in the much tougher conference. The teams were chosen and clearly Fleury, at the time, was not considered one of the top 3. Canada does not want to put their hopes on a goaltender who has folded under pressure in recent years.

      • joey4id - Jan 28, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        You may be right. But! Canada is not putting their hopes on Smith. It will be either Price or Luongo.

      • c9castine - Jan 28, 2014 at 11:57 PM

        wait, wait, no way fleury because why? because mike smith “has been solid for 2 seasons”?

        wow, low standards in net for team canada i guess…

  11. billsin20xx - Jan 28, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    Why are all these Pen’s fans acting like this game showed anything Fluery has top offer? It was the SABRES! They can’t score against a peewee goalie! LOL.
    I am a big sab’s fan, but c’mon don’t benchmark any goalie against this team!

    • joey4id - Jan 28, 2014 at 10:48 AM

      Because he has played very well since the beginning of the season. Remember that these goalie are the last line of defense, and he and Zatkoff have been playing behind a disseminated defense/team.

  12. penvik - Jan 28, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    c9castine, we have had 1 goal from our bottom six on a goalie since mid-December. Sutter and glass both have goals but they are on empty nets. The penguins have done a masterful patchwork job but we are NOT 4 lines deep. If the Penguins don’t make some moves it will be rinse and repeat playoff exit again. Shut down Sid and Malkin and the pens are done in the playoffs. The bruins can do that as well as many western teams.

    • hazlydose - Jan 28, 2014 at 7:30 PM

      Hard truths and realities are not appreciated to pens fans here. Its all sunshine and rainbows until the horn sounds on the playoff sweep.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kane (1716)
  2. P. Kessel (1477)
  3. M. Richards (1243)
  4. P. Datsyuk (1081)
  5. N. Backstrom (1054)