Sabres Update: Lost to touring Soviet team Wednesday in Memorial Auditorium. Although that was an exhibition game, it marked the Sabres' fourth loss in as many games and their third straight in Memorial Auditorium. Ailing goaltender Daren Puppa (back strain) and defenseman Mike Ramsey (rib) are both skating again. Both remain questionable for tonight's game, however. . . . This is the second meeting of the season between Buffalo and Pittsburgh. The first ended in a 4-4 tie Oct. 19 in Buffalo. . . . Sabres won all three meetings last season -- a blowout here and two close games in Pittsburgh.
Penguins Update: Routed New Jersey at Pittsburgh Thursday night, 9-5, with 16 players registering points. Penguins have been struggling with only three wins and a tie in last 12 games. . . Coach Bob Johnson has taken to experimentation, breaking up high-scoring line of John Cullen, Kevin Stevens and Mark Recchi to redistribute the scoring load. . . . Still without superstar center Mario Lemieux, who is expected to begin some form of dry-land training Dec. 19. Lemieux has been sidelined all season with back problems.