Sabres End Penguins’ Streak
PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Penguins’ run at a record-breaking streak is over. Playing without injured star Sidney Crosby, the Penguins fell to the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 to end their 15-game winning streak Tuesday night.
Pittsburgh was attempting to draw within one of the NHL record of 17 consecutive wins set by the 1992-93 Penguins, but looked out of sync and lost for the first time since falling to Carolina 4-1 on Feb. 28.
Kevin Porter scored his first two goals of the season for the Sabres, who won for the first time in five games. Steve Ott and Cody Hodgson also scored as Buffalo sent Pittsburgh to its first loss in more than a month. Ryan Miller made 19 saves on the night he surpassed Dominik Hasek for the most games played by a Sabres goaltender.
Jarome Iginla scored his first goal with the Penguins after coming over in a trade with Calgary last week but it wasn’t nearly enough. Buffalo took a three-goal lead less than 25 minutes into the game to chase Tomas Vokoun, who stopped nine of the 13 shots he faced before being removed early in the second period.
Instead of heading to Madison Square Garden on Wednesday to face the Rangers with a shot at 17 straight, Pittsburgh will be brushing itself off after the Sabres spent three periods dominating play on both ends of the ice.
The Penguins played without Crosby for the first time this season. The NHL’s leading scorer is out indefinitely due to a broken jaw. He was released from the hospital on Tuesday afternoon but the team is offering no timetable on Crosby’s return.
The Penguins had rallied from a deficit four times during their 15-game run. They couldn’t make it five. Hodgson undressed Vokoun for a pretty wraparound goal 2:21 into the second period and Porter made it 4-1 just over a minute later when his shot from the top of the left circle deflected off Pittsburgh defenseman Deryk Engelland’s skate and between Vokoun’s legs.
Marc-Andre Fleury replaced Vokoun and was sharp, stopping all 16 shots he faced in his first game since sustaining a minor upper body injury against Montreal last week. Miller was even better, silencing the NHL’s highest scoring offense with relative ease.