Sunday, December 30, 2007

Penguins 2, Sabres 0

This was a great tightly-played game. The goal scored by the Pens was pretty lucky (prior to the empty net goal at the end), but they had lots of good scoring chances. Here are the highlights (if you're reading this via RSS, you may not be able to see these - you'll have to click through onto the site). If you pause the video, you can see how the pass from Crosby to Army went just under the right skate of the Sabres defenseman, who was laid out flat on the ice.

The teams were pretty even in their effort for the evening, though I'd say the Pens had the higher quality scoring chances. Ryan Miller could easily have been one of the stars of the game.

Ty Conklin played well. He didn't have to make any spectacular saves, but he made all of the saves he should have. I think the best save of the night was made by Daryl Sydor on a puck that was trickling towards the goal line. It is in the highlights.

The fact that he didn't need acrobatics speaks volumes about the quality of the play in front of him. The Pens, as a unit, were very thorough in their defensive responsibilities. They were better than we've seen them in some time.

They were also very good on the penalty kill, though I think some of that is because they match up well with a team like the Sabres, who like to play more of a puck control, finesse type of game.

Gary Roberts broke his leg on a rather innocent collision with Connolly. He'll be out for quite a bit.

I still think teams are shooting high on Conklin on purpose. He's handling it pretty well, but he does give up some nice rebounds on those shots. So far, he's been able to cover them up...

Overall, this was a nice warm-up for the outdoor game on Tuesday. The Pens will need to continue their solid team play to win that one.

Next up: The aforementioned Winter Classic on Tuesday afternoon.

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