Thursday, February 03, 2011

Game #53 - vs Buffalo Sabres

Game 53
Sabres (23-21-5, 51 points) at Penguins (33-15-4, 70 points)

Why does it matter?
We're slowly heading for desperation time, when the teams like the Sabres (and Thrashers and Hurricanes right now) who are either just in or just out of the playoffs start to try to pick things up a bit. That makes them tough to play against, but it also acts as good preparation for the intensity level that the Pens will see in the playoffs.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - Seven wins in their past eight games.
  • Sabres - Four wins in their past five games, though the last two wins were over the Islanders and Senators.
Questions to be answered
  • How will the Pens react to Geno's return? Can they keep things going the same way?
  • Can the Pens take advantage of the Sabres leaky PK? The Sabres have allowed a power play goal in seven of their past eight games.
  • Will Malkin bump Tangradi or Godard from the lineup?
Keys to the game
  • Stick to the formula. Don't change the game plan just because Geno is returning. Keep things simple.
  • Stay disciplined. The Sabres have been a puck possession team in the past. Don't take unnecessary chances and get out of position, because it will burn you.
  • Keep the shifts short - the Sabres will roll four lines all night long. No forward averages even 20 minutes per night. Don't get caught with no legs out there in the second and third periods.

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