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NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at Buffalo

(Friday, March 26th)

Final Score: Buffalo 5, Pittsburgh 1

Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Chris Drury scored a goal and assisted on another, while Jochen Hecht added three helpers to lift the Buffalo Sabres to a 5-1 win over Pittsburgh in the first game of a home-and-home series at HSBC Arena.

Daniel Briere, Jay McKee, Maxim Afinogenov and Andrew Peters also scored for the Sabres, who snapped a nine-game winless streak against the Penguins (1-7-2). The Sabres moved within six points of the idle New York Islanders for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Martin Biron made 24 saves on 25 shots to earn the win, as Buffalo has now earned at least a point in nine of its last 11 games (6-2-0-3).

"The game went end-to-end, which made it an exciting one," Buffalo head coach Lindy Ruff said. "Hopefully, we can come out tomorrow and play just as hard and pick up two more points."

Milan Kraft scored for the Penguins, who had their three-game winning streak halted. Sebastien Caron faced 30 shots, but made just 26 saves in defeat.

Pittsburgh tied it at 1-1 at the 6:54 mark of the second period on the power play with Kraft's 18th goal of the season. Aleksey Morozov fired a shot on net, but Biron made the initial save with his blocker. The puck bounced into the slot, allowing Kraft to skate in and flip the puck over the goaltender's shoulder for the tally.

It marked the 12th straight game that the Penguins scored on the power play.

However, the Sabres scored the game's final four goals to pick up the two points.

McKee put Buffalo up by a goal with 4:39 remaining in the period as he converted on a rebound attempt. Milan Bartovic and Adam Mair skated into the Penguins zone on a 2-on-1 breakaway, as Bartovic fired a wrist shot at Caron. Caron kicked the shot away with his left leg pad, but could not stop McKee's rebound follow that beat the goaltender glove side.

Drury made it 3-1 a minute later as he beat Caron with a wrister from the left circle.

The Sabres went up 4-1 on Afinogenov's backhander from the crease at the 12:58 mark of the third, and Peters closed out the goal scoring on an empty netter with 3 1/2 minutes to go.

Buffalo improved to 7-2-1-2 in it last 12 home games.

Briere scored the game's first goal with 3:15 remaining in the opening period, as his pass to Drury deflected off Pittsburgh defenseman's Josef Melichar and slipped under Caron's stick. It was Briere's 26th of the campaign.

Game Notes

The Penguins fell to 4-35-4 when trailing after the first period this season...Pittsburgh lost for just the second time in its last 11 games (8-2-1)...The Sabres improved to 20-12-4-3 at home this season...Buffalo won at home for just the third time in its last seven tries...The Sabres were 1- for-6 on the power play, while the Penguins were 1-for-5.

03/26 22:55:34 ET

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