Gameday 68 – Sabres

7:00 pm
CONSOL Energy Center
Back at home after a relatively successful road trip. The Pens went 2-1-2 on the trip, picking up points in four-of-five games.
The Sabres are in the building today. The Pens have the opportunity to sweep the season series tonight. Buffalo is currently one point ahead of Carolina for the final playoff spot in the East. The Pens somehow trail Philly by two points for first in the East, though Pittsburgh has played two more games. The last time the Sabres were in Pittsburgh Malkin got hurt.
We'll be putting up a first period thread as the game starts from now on in order to keep the comment situation under control.

Know your enemy: Top Shelf

There's a little group of guys on the team that make me feel like you know, something special might be happening here. Something might be coming together. And it might not come together RIGHT THIS SECOND, but it's coming. I don't know if the Sabres are really going to win the Stanley Cup within three years, but there are things to be optimistic about, things that are fun: Mike Weber knocking people over and taking on all comers, Andrej Sekera absolutely wheeling up and down the ice, Jhonas Enroth playing well in a weird and awkward situation, Thomas Vanek looking like maybe, just maybe, he wants to be The Man and developing the emotional maturity to do so, Tyler Myers pushing through a rough start and coming out on the other side. I don't know that they'll do a lot of damage in the playoffs. I don't know that they'll be first round losers either. I don't know. I do know that they're really fun to watch right now and that I feel good about being a Sabres fan. For now, that's all I need.

Season series: Penguins Lead 3-0
Last meeting: February 4, 2011 – Penguins Won 3-2
What we said in our recap:

On a night where the Towels were twirling, the Pens stormed back from a 2-0 early hole to stun the Sabres and emo goalie Ryan Miller. Matt Cooke had the game-winner, and the Pens got goals from Tyler Kennedy and DJ Jazz. The real story, however, won't be the Pens' comeback; it will be the injury Evgeni Malkin suffered after huge Sabres d-man Tyler Myers fell on his right knee. The Sabres got out to a 2-0 lead by outworking the Pens. Goalagainstski returned. Goose may have played the worst period of his career in the first. Paul Gaustad scored his 1,000th goal against the Pens.

Penguins notes: is Kovalev's first game in Pittsburgh since the trade. CONTEST: Win tickets & hotel to the Island Invasion. #DePaoliSucks
Sabres notes:
Thomas Vanek is out with the flu.
The Sabres have won five of their last seven.

Line production the last 10 games: Penguins | Sabres
Favorite Sabres-related Photoshop or gif:
Guessing at the Penguins lines:

James Neal – Mark LetestuAlexei Kovalev
Chris Kunitz/Matt Cooke – Jordan Staal – Tyler Kennedy
Matt Cooke/Max Talbot – Dustin Jeffrey – Pascal Dupuis
Craig Adams – Mike Rupp – Chris Conner/Max Talbot

Paul Martin – Zbynek Michalek
Matt Niskanen – Kris Letang
Ben Lovejoy – Deryk Engelland

Marc-Andre Fleury

Sabres Lines from Empty Netters:

Luke Adam – Brad Boyes – Drew Stafford
Paul Gaustad – Tim Connolly – Jason Pominville
Mark Mancari – Tyler Ennis – Nathan Gerbe
Rob Niedermayer – Cody McCormick – Mark Parrish

Chris Butler – Tyler Myers
Andrej Sekera – Steve Montador
Shaone Morrisonn – Jordan Leopold

Ryan Miller

Photoshop City:
YouTube City:
In honor of game #68:

What an awful-quality video.

"Where I go, destruction will follow!"
Do It.
Go Pens.