Ruslan Fedotenko was the recipient of brilliance from Evgeni Malkin.
After a failed power play chance by both teams, the second of which was Buffalo’s, Pittsburgh gained momentum and an odd-man break.
Petr Sykora sent the puck to Malkin, who took it down the right side of the ice. On his way, he used a the toe of his stick to drag the puck between his legs and send a pass on the backhand across the crease.
Fedotenko flew down the left wing and got his stick on Malkin’s pass for the goal, 1-0 Pens at the 9:37 mark.
The lead didn’t last long, though, as Buffalo capitalized on a turnover by Brooks Orpik.
Coming out of his own zone, Orpik appeared to attempt a pass on the forehand but fanned on the attempt. In an effort to get the puck out of danger, he tried poking it past the Buffalo forecheck.
It didn’t work.
Derek Roy got the puck and it developed in to a 2-on-1 break. He kept it all to himself and shot it past the outstretched right leg of Dany Sabourin, 1-1 at the 11:07 mark.
The Buffalo goal came after an extended period of time where the Sabres really controlled play in Pittsburgh’s zone. After the goal, the Pens began to gain it’s early momentum back and eventually led to another goal.
Fedotenko scored his second goal of the game after a nice job by Kris Letang of keeping the puck in the zone. Letang got hold of the puck and sent it behind the Buffalo net to Petr Sykora.
There he sent a pass to Malkin who then immediately fired a one-time pass to Fedotenko. He had tons of open net to shoot at at did so, scoring and giving the Pens the lead once again, 2-1 at the 15:15 mark.
Pittsburgh took the one-goal lead in to the intermission.
It took just over a minute-and-a-half for the Penguins to increase their one-goal lead.
There was two seconds on a two-man advantage that carried over in to the second period. It quickly turned in to just a man advantage and the Pens used it to their advantage.
Sidney Crosby held the puck near the corner on the far side of the ice, initially trying to shoot a pass to Sykora but it was blocked right back to his stick. He then picked his second option and passed across the ice to Letang who fired a one-timer in to the net, 3-1 Pens at the 1:31 mark.
As they did in the first period, Buffalo answered the Penguins’ goal. Dany Sabourin thought he had stopped and froze a shot from Buffalo as it trickled behind him. Ales Kotalik raced to the net and made sure it went it, 3-2 Pens at the 6:40 mark.
Pittsburgh had a huge opportunity with a 3-2 lead when Buffalo got called for yet another penalty on Thomas Vanek. Unsportsmalike conduct got called at the same point on the Buffalo bench and just like that the Pens were on the 5-on-3 power play.
However, Ryan Miller stopped shot after shot and blanked Pittsburgh when the Penguins should have scored at least one goal.
They used the momentum from that kill to tie the game again when another loose puck. Sabourin once again thought lost the puck after stopping the initial shot and this time it was cleared.
The problem was that it was cleared directly to the stick of Daniel Paille and he buried it at the 14:49 mark, 3-3.
Buffalo continued to sail on momentum through the rest of the period and began to frustrate the Penguins. They earned a two-minute power play that carried over both periods.
The game was 3-3 going in to the break.
Pittsburgh killed off that penalty and the pace of the game began to pick up. Miroslav Satan got robbed by Miller on what looked to be a goal.
Buffalo gained the offensive zone later in the period and Orpik made another mistake.
Instead of backing off to man jis position, Orpik followed the man with the puck when Crosby was already on him. That left Letang all alone in front of the net and Thomas Vanek easily scored to put Buffalo ahead for the first time all game.
That lead held for the remainder of the game. The Penguins had trouble setting up offense at even strength and even with the man advantage. It marks the second straight game against Buffalo that Pittsburgh has given up a lead to eventually lose.