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Penguins Game 38 vs. Sabres: Lines, Notes & How to Watch



Pittsburgh Penguins game, Buffalo Sabres

The Pittsburgh Penguins come home Saturday to face the Buffalo Sabres after a huge road win that underscored their trust in and admiration for team captain Sidney Crosby.

The Penguins (19-14-4) knocked off one of the top teams in the NHL on Thursday, winning a wild one 6-5 against the Boston Bruins on national TV. Crosby scored the winning goal, added two assists and gained attention for racing back in the final minute to negate an icing call – all in the few hours after he was named an All-Star for the sixth time.

Buffalo (16-19-4) also garnered a feel-good win Thursday, 6-1 at Montreal.

Game Time

The game starts a little after 7 p.m.

Penguins Preview

The Penguins have won four of five and are 8-2-1 in their past 11 games, a stretch that has them knocking on the door of an Eastern Conference wildcard spot.

They have a power-play goal in three of their past four games, have their top six forwards intact after Bryan Rust returned from injury, and their penalty killing has snuffed 18 of 20 opposing power plays over the past eight games.

The Penguins are without their most physical defenseman, rookie John Ludvig, who is on LTIR, but they seem to have found a workable set of pairings with Ryan Graves moving down the third set and P.O Joseph moving up.

Read more:

Kingerski: Sidney Crosby ‘Not Getting Credit He Deserves;’ Team & Opponents Gush

Molinari: Penguins Squander Three-Goal Lead, But Crosby Beats Bruins

Buffalo found its offense against the Canadiens, getting the six goals after totaling seven goals over its previous four games. Tage Thompson had two goals and an assist, Jeff Skinner a goal and three assists against Montreal.

The Sabres also were 2 for 4 on the power play on Thursday after going four games without a goal with the man-advantage.

And that’s without injured captain Kyle Okposo.

Buffalo practiced Friday in Pittsburgh without forwards Alex Tuch and Jordan Greenway because they were ill. However, they apparently played against Montreal while under the weather and so could well be available Saturday.

Expected Penguins Lines

Jake Guentzel-Sidney Crosby-Rickard Rakell

Reilly Smith-Evgeni Malkin-Bryan Rust

Drew O’Connor-Lars Eller-Valtteri Pusstinen

Jansen Harkins-Noel Acciari-Jeff Carter


Marcus Pettersson-Kris Letang

P.O Joseph-Erik Karlsson

Ryan Graves-Chad Ruhwedel


Tristan Jarry

Alex Nedeljkovic

Expected Sabres Lines

Jeff Skinner-Tage Thompson-Alex Tuch

Jack Quinn-Dylan Cozens-JJ Peterka

Jordan Greenway-Casey Mittlestadt-Zach Benson

Zegmus Girgensons-Peyton Krebs-Victor Olofsson


Rasmus Dahlin-Henri Jokiharju

Mattias Samuelsson-Connor Clifton

Owen Power-Erik Johnson



Devon Levi

Penguins Special Teams

Penguins power play: 14.4%, 26th

Penguins penalty kill: 82.6%, 10th

Sabres power play: 14.2%, 28th

Sabres penalty kill: 78.3%, 22nd

Penguins Game Notes

Each team has won at home this season, the Penguins 4-0 Nov. 22, and Buffalo 3-2 Nov. 24.

The Penguins are 11-4-1 in their past 16 games against the Sabres and have won three in a row at home against them.

Erik Karlsson’s 39 points (14 goals, 25 assists) and Kris Letang’s 33 points (6 goals, 27 assists) against Buffalo rank first and second among active defensemen.

Sidney Crosby has surpassed the 40-point mark for the 18th time, one of 24 players to have done that. The only other active player on the list is Washington’s Alex Ovechkin.

Drew O’Connor has five points (3 goals, 2 assists) in his past six games, has tied his single-season high of five goals and has reached a new high with 13 points.

The Penguins are averaging four goals over their past eight games (6-1-1).

Marcus Pettersson is scheduled to play in his 400th game.

How to Watch

TV: SportsNet Pittsburgh

Radio: 105.9 FM The X

Also visit sister site Buffalo Hockey Now