Buffalo Sabres Insider App Twitter Facebook

Lexus

Special Teams Struggles Continue

Friday, 01.05.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
Buffalo Sabres
X
Share with your Friends


Special Teams Struggles Continue
Frustration is beginning to compound with the struggling special teams play of the Buffalo Sabres and those woes are costing the team victories.

Buffalo lost back-to-back games for just the second time this season as the power play and penalty kill sputtered in a 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night.

"It's obvious we're pressing," said head coach Lindy Ruff. "Guys with good hands are making poor plays, poor decisions. We've got to work our way through it.

"Guys that normally handle [the puck] really well, didn't handle it so well, and you'll end up with some pretty ineffective power plays."

"It's frustrating and I'm not going to say it's not," said defenseman Brian Campbell. "But we're taking the steps where we need to be and we're sticking together."

During the current two-game losing streak, Buffalo has allowed five power-play goals - two against Pittsburgh - while only scoring a pair.

The power play turned into Jekyll and Hyde with a Penguin in the box, looking like a dynamic, cohesive unit one minute and discombobulated the next. Buffalo did extend their streak to six games with a power-play goal, but are converting on 18.7 per cent of their chances in that span.

"We worked hard on it [Thursday] and I think you saw some good things," said Ruff. "Obviously, there is heightened awareness with our power play not making the difference right now, so you are going to expect some of the boos when you are ineffective.

"What you need to guard against is letting that frustration effect how hard you work on the ice. We want to make sure that we out-work and out-play the other team."

Derek Roy ended an 11-game goal drought with a one-timer with six minutes remaining in the first period to give Buffalo the 1-0 lead.

Floating to the right face-off dot, Roy launched a fired Toni Lydman's pass from the point over Marc-Andre Fleury's outstretched glove for his sixth goal of the season at 14:44.

With what could be considered a five-on-three advantage after Jason Pominville snapped his stick, Pittsburgh tied the game off a great feed by Sid the Kid.

On their first power play of the game, Sidney Crosby found Ryan Whitney with an across-ice pass through traffic for the one-timer and his seventh goal of the season at 7:26 of the second.

"We just have to work a little bit harder still, have a little more execution and make a couple of plays where we had passes and guys open," said Campbell. "It all comes down to that."

A testament to the Sabres struggling special teams, Buffalo's best sniper with the man advantage - Chris Drury - scored his first PP goal in 15 games at 10:50 of the second to make the score 2-1 in favor of Buffalo.

Paul Gaustad held Fleury's clearing pass deep with a flying leap against the end boards, allowing Daniel Briere to find Buffalo's other co-captain for 21st goal of the season with an across-crease pass.

"It wasn't pretty, but that's the type of goal that's being scored right now," said Ruff.

After Evgeni Malkin calmly skated between four Sabres through the slot, Josef Melichar fired a slapshot from the point to create the rebound opportunity for Jordan Staal, who buried the puck for his 12th of the season at 13:39 of the second.

With 2.3 seconds remaining before the second intermission, Malkin gave Pittsburgh their first lead of the game. Sliding up from the blueline, Malkin blew a blistering slapshot over Ryan Miller's glove and spun to celebrate his 19th of the season in Ovechkin-like fashion, twirling his glove in the air. Miller took the loss after stopping 23-of-26 shots.

Dominic Moore added the empty netter at 19:47.

"We can't worry about the things around us, whether it's getting asked [about special teams] every day," said Campbell. "We've got to keep pushing and that's what this team has done the last couple of years."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SCORING SHEETS
Game Summary | Super Stats | Face-offs | Play-by-Play | Shift Chart

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82