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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, October 5th (All times Eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (0-2-0) at Pittsburgh Penguins (1-0-0), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - A lack of offense has put the Buffalo Sabres in danger of posting their worst start to a season in 13 years.
The Sabres try to avoid a third straight loss on Saturday night, but must do so against the talented Pittsburgh Penguins.
Buffalo has been held to just one goal in its first two games, handed a pair of losses despite 77 saves from Ryan Miller. The Sabres were bested 2-1 in Detroit on Wednesday, then dropped a 1-0 home decision on Friday night to the Ottawa Senators.
Miller posted the second-highest single-game save total of his career with 45 stops, including 23 in the first period, but the Sens finally got one past him with 1:35 to play.
"It's not a fun way to lose, especially in our opener. We wanted more energy and try to create some confidence here. We're going to make some mistakes and come together as a team. It would have been nice to kind of grind one out and get an ugly one," said Miller, who made a career-best 48 saves versus Toronto on Jan. 8, 2010.
The Sabres did log 35 shots in the loss, but failed on all four power-play chances and are 0-for-11 on the man advantage this season.
"We made it extremely difficult on Ryan," said defenseman Mike Weber. "He showed us tonight why he is one of the best goaltenders in the world. It's discouraging because I feel like we let him down."
Despite Miller's efforts, the Sabres are in position to go winless in three straight to begin the season for the first time since 1999-2000, when the club went 0-5 with a pair of ties.
The Penguins, meanwhile, are looking for their third straight 2-0 start after beginning the season with Thursday's 3-0 win over New Jersey.
It was a much-needed opener for Pens goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who posted 27 saves in his 24th career shutout and 250th win.
Fleury struggled last postseason and lost his starting job to Tomas Vokoun, but is the undisputed No. 1 right now as Vokoun is slated to miss 3-to-6 months to recover from a surgical procedure to dissolve a blood clot.
"You always want a win to start the season and this was a good way to start it," said Fleury. "But it's obvious that this was just one game and we've got a long way to go here."
Chuck Kobasew, Sidney Crosby and Craig Adams all scored for the Penguins, who are also without forward James Neal indefinitely due to an upper-body injury.
The Sabres won two of three over the Penguins last season, with both victories coming in Pittsburgh.
10/05 10:28:13 ET
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