Penguins-Sabres: Eastern Conference Titans Clash at Mellon Arena

WoooooSenior Writer INovember 15, 2008

The Pittsburgh Penguins will put their five game winning streak on the line tonight when they host the Buffalo Sabres at Mellon Arena.

The Penguins (10-4-2) have not lost a game in the month of November and finally seem to have found some chemistry on the offensive side of the puck. The Pens have scored 27 goals during their five game winning streak after scoring just 10 goals in their previous eight games.

The Sabres started the season red-hot, but have seen their Northeast Division lead slip away to the streaking Boston Bruins. Buffalo is 4-4-2 in its' last 10 games and currently sit one point behind Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference Standings.

The Penguins will debut their new third jerseys tonight, which are similar to the white and baby blue jerseys they sported during last year's Winter Classic against Buffalo.

Pittsburgh Will Win If...

Marc-Andre Fleury gets back on track. Fleury has given up 11 goals in his last two starts and was pulled in the third period of the Penguins' 5-4 shootout victory over Philadelphia on Thursday.

Dany Sabourin has been sensational in relief of the Flower; however, Fleury is listed as the probable starter for tonight's tilt against Buffalo.

Evgeni Malkin keeps the streak alive. Gino is currently riding a 12 game points streak and is one point behind Capitals' forward Alex Semin for the NHL scoring lead.

Malkin has been held off the score sheet just once this season and the Penguins will surely look to him to lead the attack against Ryan Miller.

The power play provides a few goals. The Sabres have allowed just one power play goal in seven road games this season, which is tops in the NHL.

The Pens are converting on 18.7 percent of their power play opportunities, which is good for 14th best in the league. They'll have their work cut out for themselves against Buffalo's fourth ranked penalty kill.

Buffalo Will Win If...

Ryan Miller makes sure he is the difference between a win and a loss. Miller has been sensational this season between the pipes for the Sabres. Miller has posted a 2.08 goals against average and a .928 save percentage in 13 starts this season.

Ales Kotalik's absence doesn't affect the offensive output. Kotalik has been sidelined for an undisclosed amount of time. Kotalik has registered 10 points (five goals, five assists) for the Sabres this season.

The Sabres' leading goal scorer is Thomas Vanek who is off to the best start of his NHL career with 12 goals so far this season.

Recently, Jason Pominville has been filling the net more regularly and Tim Connolly is finally healthy, for now.

This match up should be a great one as it pits two of the top teams in Eastern Conference against one another.

Let's Go Pens.