Monday, March 07, 2011

Game #68 - vs Buffalo Sabres

Game 68
Sabres (32-25-8, 72 points) at Penguins (38-21-8, 84 points)

Why does it matter?
This is another tough opponent for the Pens. For the (seemingly) 863rd straight game, the Pens are playing a team that has been extremely hot recently. The Sabres are battling for the playoff lives, and the Pens are in the way. This will be a good one.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - A great win over the Bruins on Saturday night somehow made all of the recent losing fade from recent memory.
  • Sabres - 5-0-2 in their past seven games, getting hot when they needed it the most.
Questions to be answered
  • Can the Pens score enough to win? The Sabres haven't allowed more than three goals in a game since February 13th.
  • Can anyone slow down Drew Stafford? He has 11 goals in 16 games since the All-Star break.
  • Will the new guys find a way to contribute on the scoreboard? I'm referring to Kovalev and Neal here - they need to score.
Keys to the game
  • Lay it all on the line. Don't leave anything in the tank after this one - the Sabres will play an up-and-down style, and this is the only game for the Pens between last Saturday and this upcoming Saturday.
  • Get to the power play - the Sabres have allowed a power play goal in each of their past two games.
  • Mix it up offensively. I think everyone in the world knows what happens when the Pens have a three-on-two - they do the center drive thing with the puck on the wing and usually get a shot from the circle. Try cutting to the middle after that center goes through, or hitting a D-man coming late - something to mix it up and help keep other teams from sitting on specific plays.

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