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Evgeni Malkin, Mikhail Grigorenko
Pittsburgh Penguins' Evgeni Malkin (71) works to get open against Buffalo Sabres' Mikhail Grigorenko (25) in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh Tuesday, April 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene Puskar)

Vanek, Sabres Knock Off Pens 4-2

Thomas Vanek put home two goals, good for 20 on the season, helping the Sabres beat the Penguins on Tuesday 4-2. Ryan Miller stopped 40 shots in the win.

Buffalo got on the board first with a Vanek one-timer at 12:49 of the opening period. Standing in the slot, Vanek wristed a Cody Hodgson pass into the net to put the Sabres ahead 1-0. It was a lead that would stand for only 20 seconds. Chris Kunitz let a shot go from the outside of the right faceoff circle that deflected off Miller's glove and fluttered over the goalline, tying the score 1-1.

Andrej Sekera thought he gave the Sabres another lead in the second period, but his goal was waved off due to a goaltender interference call on Vanek. The Sabres forward had a glorious opportunity for his second goal of the night, but was denied by Marc-Andre Fleury on a clean breakaway chance. Vanek went high, but Fleury knocked the puck away with his glove, sending it just over the crossbar.

The score remained tied until Jochen Hecht ripped a loose puck over Fleury's glove at 6:11 of the third to put the Sabres ahead 2-1. Jarome Iginla evened the score once again just a little less than five minutes later, blowing a power play shot past Miller at 11:02. Steve Ott's goal with 2:34 to play was allowed to stand after off-ice officials determined the Sabres forward kept his stick under the crossbar while tapping the puck into the Pittsburgh net. Vanek's second of the evening, his 20th of the season, came on an empty-netter in the game's final minute.
After being sent to the bench in his last start, Miller stood stall against the Penguins, stopping 40 shots including 21 in the final period alone. The Sabres return home on Friday to close out the 2013 season against the New York Islanders. Hear the call on WGR 550 and the Buffalo Sabres Radio Network.

1st Period

12:49 - BUF - Thomas Vanek (19) (Cody Hodgson, Drew Stafford)
13:09 - PIT - Chris Kunitz (22) (Brandon Sutter, Matt Cooke)


2nd Period


6:25 - BUF - Vanek (2 min., goaltender interference)
6:25 - PIT - Jussi Jokinen (2 min., holding)
17:44 - BUF - Mike Weber (2 min., holding)
17:44 - BUF - Steve Ott (10 min. misconduct)
19:49 - BUF - Adam Pardy (2 min., cross checking)

3rd Period

6:11 - BUF - Jochen Hecht (5) (Thomas Vanek, Mark Pysyk)
11:02 - PIT - Jarome Iginla (PPG) (14) (Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin)
17:26 - BUF - Steve Ott (9) (Mark Pysyk)
19:27 - BUF - Thomas Vanek (EN) (20) (Cody Hodgson, Drew Stafford)

10:30 - BUF - Christian Ehrhoff (2 min., delaying game - puck over glass)

BUF - Ryan Miller (40 saves, 42 shots)
PIT - Marc-Andre Fleury (29 saves, 32 shots)

Power Plays
BUF - 0 of 0
PIT - 1 of 3

Three Stars
1.) BUF - Thomas Vanek (2 G, 1 A)
2.) BUF - Ryan Miller (40 saves)
3.) PIT - Jarome Iginla (1 G, 0 A)