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Pens dominate Sabres, 4-1

The SportsXchange

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins got goals in consecutive games from Sidney Crosby, Chuck Kobasew and Craig Adams in skating to a 4-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

The win pushed Pittsburgh's record to 2-0. The Sabres are winless at 0-3. The win also improved the Penguins' home record to 2-0 for the first time since 1995.

"I think just as a whole, as a group from (Marc-Andre Fleury) right on out, we've been very solid defensively," said Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.

The Penguins got on the board first when Crosby fired a wrist shot from the bottom of the right wing circle that hit off the pads of Buffalo goaltender Jhonas Enroth. The rebound popped out and Crosby darted toward it, splitting Buffalo defensemen Tyler Myers and Mike Weber and roofing his own rebound underneath the crossbar to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead at 3:35 of the first. Pascal Dupuis, playing in his 800th career game, picked up the primary assist with Matt Niskanen getting a secondary helper.

Pittsburgh went ahead by a pair when Brandon Sutter took a slap shot from just below the blue line that was skillfully redirected in front by Chuck Kobasew. The redirect eluded Enroth and sneaked inside the post at the 13:43 mark of the first to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead. The goal was Kobasew's second in as many games and Niskanen picked up another secondary assist.

"(Kobasew) is just in and around the net using his speed in getting there and it turns out to be the game-winning goal for us," said Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma.

The Penguins could have had a much larger margin of victory had the post, crossbar and Enroth not gotten in the way of some stellar scoring chances. Evgeni Malkin fired a quick wrist shot from the left hash mark that rung off the post in the second period. Near the 15-minute mark of the second Dupuis found himself all alone in front, but Enroth waited out Dupuis and made an above-average blocker save.

"Jhonas had a real good game for us," said Buffalo coach Ron Rolston. "Our goaltending has been exceptional."

Crosby also rang a shot off the crossbar in the third when he broke in alone during a Pittsburgh power play.

Fleury had a relatively light workload for the Penguins, facing just 21 shots, but perhaps his best save came with 1:26 remaining in the second, when Thomas Vanek batted a shot on goal from in tight while the Sabres were on the power play.

"We had the puck and we controlled the game and we were in their zone so they didn't get to come on our side too much," said Fleury.

Pittsburgh added a third tally when Chris Kunitz was awarded a penalty shot after being obstructed on a breakaway. Kunitz took full advantage of the opportunity by breaking in and putting a backhand move on Enroth that sneaked under the left armpit of the Buffalo netminder at 10:09 of the third.

Buffalo finally solved Fleury at 15:06 of the third when Cody Hodgson threw a harmless shot on net that deflected off of teammate Vanek and in to ruin the shutout bid for Fleury, but it was all of the offense that the Sabres could muster.

"We lost three straight games, obviously we're frustrated, but we're going to take the day off tomorrow and get back to work on Monday and try to figure this out," said Enroth, who faced 34 Pittsburgh shots.

Craig Adams added an empty-net goal at 18:15 of the third for the Penguins.

NOTES: The Sabres completed their first set of 13 back-to-back games Saturday. ... With his first period goal, Crosby recorded a point in 15 consecutive games against Buffalo. ... The Sabres have already dressed three teenagers this season -- C Zemgus Girgensons, C Mikhail Grigorenko and D Rasmus Ristolainen -- which is the most teenagers they've dressed in a season since dressing five during the 1995-96 season. ... Scratches for the Penguins were D Deryk Engelland and LW James Neal (upper body). Scratches for Buffalo were D Henrik Tallinder (upper body), D Alexander Sulzer, LW John Scott and G Ryan Miller (lower body). ... The Penguins' next game will be Tuesday vs. Carolina. Buffalo's next game will also be Tuesday vs. Tampa Bay.
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