Thanksgiving fantasy advice:

Porter, Miller help Sabres end Penguins 15-game winning streak

The SportsXchange

PITTSBURGH -- Kevin Porter isn't a big believer in the percentages.

That is why the Buffalo center was the least surprised person in the building that his two first goals of the season helped the Sabres beat red-hot Pittsburgh 4-1 on Tuesday night at Consol Energy Center, ending the Penguins' winning streak at 15, two short of the NHL record.

"I definitely thought it was the night it could happen," Porter said. "They have great team with a lot of great players who are playing really well and I hadn't been able to find the back of the net. I just thought the time was right for it to happen -- when you least expect it."

Porter then paused and smiled.

"I thought one goal but maybe not two," he said.

Minus Sidney Crosby, their captain and the NHL's leading scorer, the Penguins (28-9-0) had their brush with history came to an end. Pittsburgh set the record for consecutive wins with 17 in 1993.

Crosby, who has 56 points in 36 games, suffered a broken jaw and lost teeth in the Penguins' previous game on Saturday against the New York Islanders when he was struck in the mouth by a deflected shot by Penguins defensemen Brooks Orpik.

Crosby was released from the hospital Monday and the Penguins don't have a timetable for when he can resume physical activity. It seems certain that Crosby won't be able to see game action for at least a month.

"It always (stinks) when it comes to an end but the guys did a great job in the streak, coming back in games and holding up the leads," Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury said. "We played some very good hockey and now we have to focus and play some more."

The Sabres (14-17-6) snapped their four-game winning streak behind Porter, an improbable hero who recorded just the second multi-goal game of his five-year career. Porter also had two goals for Colorado on Nov. 6, 2010 against Dallas.

"I'm happy for him," Sabres interim coach Ron Rolston said. "He works as hard as anybody on this team and he's had a tough time getting that first goal."

"My first objective is always to keep the other team from scoring," said Porter, who was playing in his 20th game of the season. "Still, it's nice to finally get a couple of goals."

Steve Ott and Cody Hodgson added goals for Buffalo and Jason Pominville had two assists.

Jarome Iginla scored his first goal in his second game with the Penguins. He was acquired last week in a trade from Calgary Flames, with whom he had spent his entire 16-year career and scored 525 goals.

Veteran goaltender Ryan Miller made 19 saves in what could be his last game for the Sabres. There has been speculation that he could possibly be traded for the NHL trade deadline at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

"I'm really not going to worry about it," Miller said of a potential trade. "It's part of the business and, as a player, you really have no say in it. It's funny, but every year at this time, everyone will come up to me and ask me what I'm hearing. Believe me, the players are the last to know. We're just the chess pieces and it's the general managers moving us around the board.

"Today, it was just about hockey and it was really nice to win this game against the hottest team in the league."

The Sabres ended the Penguins' string of three straight shutouts and team-record streak of 218:48 without allowing a goal when Porter broke a scoreless tie on a shorthanded odd man rush at 10:24.

Porter put a wrist shot past Tomas Vokoun, who had posted shutouts in his previous two starts in place of Fleury who had been sidelined by a sore neck. Vokoun had gone 173:06 without being scored upon.

Iginla then tied it for the Penguins when he scored on the power play at 13:27 for his 10th goal of the season.

Buffalo went back ahead with 1:50 left in the first when Ott scored his sixth goal on a slapshot off a drop shot from Pominville.

The Sabres increased their lead to 4-1 in the early stages of the second period. Hodgson scored on a wraparound at 2:21 and Porter converted a wrist shot at 3:38 to chase Vokoun from the game.

That ended the Penguins' streak of 11 straight games without allowing more than two goals.

Vokoun made saves on nine of the 13 shots on goal he faced. Fleury relieved him and shut out the Sabres over the final 36:22, making 15 saves.

"We didn't look quick," Penguins right wing Craig Adams said. "We didn't get in on the forecheck and play in their end as much as we needed to. We didn't create enough and also gave them a few goals with turnovers. We just play very well."

NOTES: Pominville has a modified no-trade clause in his contract in which he can submit eight teams to which he cannot be traded and confirmed Tuesday that he has submitted that list to general manager Darcy Regier in advance of the deadline. In rebuilding mode, the Sabres dealt defenseman Jordan Leopold to St. Louis last Saturday and defenseman Robyn Regehr to Los Angeles on Monday. ... Buffalo left wing Thomas Vanek sat out his fourth straight game and left wing Ville Leino missed his second game in a row as both have upper body injuries. Left wing John Scott was also scratched by the Sabres. .... Miller played in his 492nd career game, breaking the Sabres' franchise record for goalies that was held by Dominik Hasek. ... Orpik, who had seven hits and three blocked shots, set the Penguins' franchise for games played by a defenseman with 622, breaking a tie with Ron Stackhouse. ... Pittsburgh defensemen Kris Letang, on injured reserve with a broken toe, has started skating but there is no timetable for his return. ... Scratched with Crosby for the Penguins were center Joe Vitale and defenseman Robert Bortuzzo.
Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (6)