BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – After getting shutout in three consecutive games for the first time in franchise history, Sabres head coach Phil Housley promised changes.
He benched 4th liner Matt Moulson and called up Hudson Fasching. He also swapped Josh Gorges for Viktor Antipin.
It didn’t help.
After 232 minutes of scoreless hockey, Jason Pominville finally found the back of the net late in the third period, but it wasn’t enough in a 5-1 loss to the Penguins on Saturday night.
Buffalo has now lost four straight and 11 of its last 12 games.
Rookie Tristan Jarry, who turned away all 34 shots he faced in a 4-0 win over the Sabres on Friday, was masterful again for the defending cup champs. He turned away 32 of the 33 shots he faced.
Evgeni Malkin helped the Pens steal momentum at the end of the first 20 minutes, scoring in the final minutes of the opening period to give Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead.
Carl Hagelin and Patric Hornqvist made it 3-0 with tallies in the second period. Phil Kessel and Sidney Crosby scored in the third.
The Blue and Gold had their share of opportunities to strike. In the second period, Evander Kane and Jack Eichel skated in on a 2-on-1 opportunity. Jarry robbed Kane and Eichel couldn’t corral the rebound. A minute later, Ryan O’Reilly fired home a shot from the blue line that squirted out front. Kyle Okposo’s rebound attempt went wide. Rasmus Ristolainen followed that up by ringing a shot of the post.
The Sabres also squandered their four power play chances. Since scoring a power play goal against the Penguins on Nov. 14, Buffalo is 0-for-26 on the man advantage.