Penguins Clinch Playoff Berth With 3-1 Win Over Sabres

Ristolainen was assessed five minutes for interference, while Guentzel suffered a concussion.

The Buffalo Sabres tried to see if they could beat the defending champions without any defensemen.

Sidney Crosby and Conor Sheary also scored for Pittsburgh, which clinched a playoff berth for the 11th consecutive season.

Instead, he... well, mows down Penguins forward Jake Guentzel.

Connor Sheary, Crosby's linemate who assisted on the highlight-reel breakaway and added a goal for himself, piled on: "It's pretty special". Ristolainen was tossed from the game for the hit, but the Sabres killed off the entire five-minute power play. Guentzel left the ice and did not return to the contest. The first goal of the game came on a power play late in the 1st period when Sidney Crosby did something spectacular. It was a possible game-chainging penalty kill at the time for the Sabres.

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Starting from inside his blue line, Crosby picked up a head of steam through the neutral zone and weaved past all four Sabres defenders before lifting a one-handed backhander into the top right corner to open the scoring with nine seconds left in the first period. He had a date with the Tooth Fairy after losing two front teeth when he was high sticked by Evander Kane with 1:25 left in the game.

The Sabres answered Crosby's goal early in the third period on a rebound from Sam Reinhart, who pocketed his seventeenth goal of the season.

In the final period, Buffalo tied the game two minutes in. Things escalated quickly from there, with both players throwing punches.

Playing his 300th career game, counterpart Braden Holtby celebrated his bobblehead night by making 29 saves for Washington, which has 102 points. Bonino would put a shot on net through traffic that beat the screened Lehner. with 5:29 to play. bones is heating up at the right time, much like a year ago when the famed HBK line started to rule the world. Coming off a 2-1 win at Detroit on Monday, Buffalo has just five goals in regulation in its past five games, including a 2-0 shutout loss at Los Angeles on Thursday.

  • Tabitha Byrd