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Penguins still have faith in goaltender Johnson

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The progress Penguins goalie Brent Johnson made in his two previous starts did not translate to his performance Sunday against the Buffalo Sabres. Johnson, in the midst of the worst statistical season of his career, was yanked from the contest early in the second period after allowing three goals on 12 shots.

Still, coach Dan Bylsma supported Johnson following the game.

"I'm confident this guy can win hockey games," Bylsma said. "He hasn't played particularly well and hasn't had a season like last year. He is going to be playing again. He's going to have to win us some games, and play better."

The Penguins did not hold Johnson responsible for the setback. Rather, many of the Penguins said their play made Johnson's ability to keep his team in the contest nearly impossible. Johnson played well in his two previous outings, a 1-0 loss in Toronto and a 4-2 victory last Sunday against Tampa Bay.

> > The game between the Penguins and Sabres was almost delayed because of glass on the ice during pregame warm-ups. Although the Penguins weren't terribly concerned about the situation, Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff didn't believe the game would start on time.

"I was concerned about safety because a great number of our players lost their edge while skating over the glass," Ruff said.

Two Buffalo players had to get their skates sharpened before the game because of the glass.

> > Penguins left wing Matt Cooke was struck in the left arm by left wing Chris Kunitz's shot late in the first period but was able to stay in the game. Defenseman Deryk Engelland was also injured against the Sabres, though it isn't believed to be serious.

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