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Pittsburgh at Buffalo

Sabres 4, Penguins 3

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Sabres beat the Pittsburgh Penguins at their own game.

Paul Gaustad broke a tie with his second goal, and Drew Stafford had two goals and an assist in the Sabres' 4-3 comeback victory over Pittsburgh on Friday.

The Penguins had won seven of the 11 times they've trailed after two periods this season, and were tied for the NHL lead in third-period goals coming in. But the Sabres reversed the tide, capturing a game they were behind in after 40 minutes by outscoring Pittsburgh 2-0 in the final period.

"They're a great team and we know they have the firepower, but we stayed within our system and it paid off for us," said Gaustad, who missed the first nine games of the season because of a thumb injury. "We didn't run around and we stayed within ourselves. When we do that we're a strong team and a hard team to play against."

Gaustad's second of the game came with 3:24 to go in regulation, and sent the Sabres (11-8-3) to their second straight win after losing five in a row.

With the score tied at 3, Gaustad charged the net and redirected Jason Pominville's pass from the right circle for the winner.

"It's great that we won but we have to put it behind us and stay consistent," Gaustad said.

That's something the Sabres have been unable to do this season. After busting out of the gate with an 8-2-2 mark, they're currently in a 3-6-1 funk.

But after killing a two-man advantage for the first 52 seconds of the third period, the Sabres went to work and began to clamp down defensively while getting quality opportunities against Pittsburgh's rookie goalie John Curry. Buffalo outshot the Penguins by a 10-3 margin in the decisive third period.

"Killing that completely killed any type of momentum they had or could have had," Stafford said. "It all started there."

Sidney Crosby scored twice, and Tyler Kennedy added a goal for Pittsburgh (13-6-3). The Penguins lost in regulation for only the second time this month.

Evgeni Malkin had two assists to boost his NHL-leading points total to 37, and Curry made 28 saves in his first career NHL start.

"You can't blame him on any of the goals," Crosby said. "He made some big saves and kept us in it. He did a great job."

The Sabres tied it at 3 just 3:11 into the third on Stafford's second goal of the game. Off the rush, Stafford redirected Thomas Vanek's pass past Curry.

Curry was making his second career appearance after relieving Dany Sabourin in Wednesday's wild 5-3 comeback win over the New York Islanders.

"It's disappointing. Being my first start I wanted to get a win," Curry said. "It just didn't come out our way."

Kennedy opened the scoring with his sixth of the season midway through the first period, but Stafford tied it just 56 seconds later.

The Sabres then took their first lead on Gaustad's power-play goal at 12:21 of the second.

It was short-lived, though, as Crosby swatted the puck out of the air and into the net after Malkin's shot bounced off the end boards 34 seconds later.

Crosby connected again with 56 seconds left in the second with his 10th to make it 3-2, wristing a shot past Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller after Malkin stripped Buffalo defenseman Jaroslav Spacek of the puck in the neutral zone.

"The all-around game was as good as we've played since the start of the year," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said.

Notes

Penguins D Philippe Boucher played one shift in the second period, then left the ice and didn't return because of an undisclosed injury. He is day-to-day. ... Miller finished with 27 saves. ... The Sabres inducted Dave Andreychuk and former PA announcer Milt Ellis into their Hall of Fame in a ceremony that delayed the start by almost 10 minutes. ... Buffalo completed its season-high four-game homestand with a 2-2 mark. ... The teams will meet two more times over the next 23 days. ... The game also was delayed late in the first period when Vanek's slap shot cracked a pane of glass.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Scoreboard
Pittsburgh (13-6-3)1203
Buffalo  (11-8-3) «1124
Three Stars
P. Gaustad
BUF


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
D. Stafford
BUF


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
S. Crosby
PIT


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
10:29Tyler Kennedy (6), Wrist Shot. Assist: Cooke, Scuderi
11:25Drew Stafford (3), Wrist Shot. Assist: Afinogenov, Spacek
2ND PERIOD
12:21Power Play - Paul Gaustad (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Stafford, Mancari
12:55Sidney Crosby (9), Tip-In. Assist: Malkin
19:04Sidney Crosby (10), Snap Shot. Assist: Malkin
3RD PERIOD
03:11Drew Stafford (4), Backhand Shot. Assist: Vanek, Roy
16:36Paul Gaustad (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Pominville, Hecht
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:18Kaleta, 2 min, High-Sticking
07:11Kaleta, 2 min, Roughing
07:11Gill, 2 min, Roughing
13:39Pominville, 2 min, Hooking
16:08Numminen, 2 min, Hooking
17:39Satan, 2 min, Hooking
2ND PERIOD
03:20Kaleta, 2 min, Boarding
04:48Malkin, 2 min, Hooking
10:31Orpik, 2 min, Interference
15:19Hecht, 2 min, Holding
17:37Gill, 2 min, Hooking
18:51Vanek, 2 min, Tripping
19:30Pominville, 2 min, Tripping
3RD PERIOD
None
Shots On Goal
 123T
Pittsburgh1215330
Buffalo11111032
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
John Curry59:27284
Ryan Miller60:00273
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Pittsburgh0-for-7
Buffalo1-for-4
Game Information
Attendance - 18690
Referees - Eric Furlatt, Dean Morton
Linesmen - Brad Kovachik, Mark Shewchyk
 
Other Games
NYR 4 Final
Fla 3
Chi 0 Final
Ana 1
Colu 3 Final
Det 5
Car 3 Final
OT
Phi 2
Colo 1 Final
Pho 2
Mon 0 Final
Wash 3
SJ 6 Final
Dal 2
NYI 2 Final
Bos 7
Nash 4 Final
OT
Atl 3
TB 2 Final
Min 4