It looked easy. It should have been easy. The Pittsburgh Penguins were presented with an opponent content to be run out of the building, and only Buffalo Sabres goalie Malcolm Subban didn’t get the memo. The Penguins dominated the first half of the game, but complacency or frustration crept into their game, and Buffalo hung around long enough to get a pair of goals and force overtime.
The Penguins won their sixth in a row and gave a meaningless overtime point to the lowly Sabres, 3-2 at PPG Paints Arena.
Evan Rodrigues had one goal in the first period and was a few millimeters from a second goal in the first period, but a sweeping behind-the-back glove save by Subban will appear on the Sabres year-end highlight reel.
Rodrigues was a little befuddled even in the post-game. You know that face you make and the exhale when you know what happened but have no idea how to explain it? Yeah, Rodrigues had that reaction when asked about it.
“The rebound came right to me, I was just trying to get it over his pad, and I don’t even think he meant to kind of save that–he was just pushing over and trying to lean with his blocker, and I think his arm was just kind of trailing behind him,” Rodrigues lamented. “I want to see that go in, but sometimes the goalie just makes a good save.”
Head coach Mike Sullivan said Rodrigues was talking to himself on the bench, too.
The Pittsburgh Hockey Now success often elicits a similar reaction as the Subban save, but I digress.
The Pittsburgh Penguins penalty kill is now at 93%. Just imagine that. After 29 games, one of the most significant question marks in training camp, a generally terrible unit last season, is now historically good. The Penguins PK bailed out Jeff Carter, who took a minor penalty with five seconds remaining, which meant a 4v3 OT power play in which the PK unit allowed just one shot.
Several players continued the march of the Penguins, while others continued to slide. And the chalkboard is about the rush and the infatuation with it.