Courtesy of Point Park University

Prospects surge, sputter, ultimately survive ☕


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Nathan Legare. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Mike Vellucci didn't need much time to consider the question, to reflect on how he'd have preferred to see the game play out after watching his team of Penguins prospects score the first four goals against the Sabres' entry during a tournament at Harborcenter today.

And it wouldn't have been to have that lead melt away as it did, before the Penguins pulled out a 6-4 victory.

"We'd all rather win, 10-0," Vellucci said. "But from a learning (standpoint), it's a good lesson."

He got to see that his players, many of whom he will coach in Wilkes-Barre this winter, can overcome adversity, at least some of which was self-inflicted against the Sabres.

For when they seemed to have the game under control late in the second period, the Penguins took two penalties in less than two minutes, leading to a sequence that saw the Sabres generate four goals in just over 5 1/2 minutes.

"We need more discipline," Penguins winger Nathan Legare said. "We got some penalties, and that cost our team a lot."

Buffalo finished with one goal on six power plays, while the Penguins were 1 for 4 with the extra man. Both teams got a shorthanded goal.

"It was a specialty-team afternoon," Vellucci said.

And even though the Penguins appeared to be in danger of unraveling early in the third period, they regained their equilibrium and were able to fend off a late surge by the Sabres.

"They got their bounces, we got ours," Penguins defenseman John Marino said. "It went back-and-forth. Both teams were competing pretty hard out there ... At the end of the day, we were able to keep it together and come out with a win."

The Penguins finished the tournament 2-1, the same record as Buffalo. Although no champion was announced, the title presumably went to the Penguins, based on the head-to-head result against the Sabres.

The other two teams, Boston and New Jersey, finished 1-2.

"It was a good tournament, overall," Vellucci said. "A lot of good things."

Here are some more thoughts from Buffalo:

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