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NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Pittsburgh

(Tuesday, November 29th)

Final Score: Buffalo 3, Pittsburgh 2

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Ales Kotalik netted the game-winning goal early in the third period and Maxim Afinogenov tallied a goal and an assist as the Buffalo Sabres defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-2, at Mellon Arena.

Paul Gaustad scored his fourth goal of the season and Martin Biron made 30 saves for the Sabres, who won their fourth straight contest.

"We actually switched him (Kotalik) off the one unit to get him off the top power play because they were taking that away," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "When they were taking that away, sometimes Jochen (Hecht) is in the slot for a shot and we put him on the off side. It was just a read on his part trying to find the hole. But the difference is, you would rather have Ales shooting."

Matt Murley scored his first goal of the season and John LeClair added a power-play tally for the Penguins, who have lost three straight and four of their last five. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 24 shots for the Pens.

"It didn't go the way I would have liked it to go," Fleury said. "I don't believe it's the best I can be. I'd like to have both goals back."

The Penguins got on the scoreboard 4:59 into the contest after Murley gathered a loose puck at the side of the net and stuffed it past Biron for a 1-0 lead. Biron had his stick knocked out of his hands, which allowed Murley to sweep it in from on the doorstep.

Buffalo tied the game less than seven minutes later after Afinogenov batted a rebound past Fleury's glove to make it a 1-1 game. Derek Roy blasted a slap shot from the left point that Fleury stopped, but the rebound kicked high into the air before Afinogenov got to it in the slot.

The Sabres took a 2-1 lead with 8:19 left in the second period after Gaustad gained the offensive zone and beat Fleury under his right arm with a wrist shot from the left circle.

Pittsburgh netted the equalizer 1:33 into the third period while on the power play after LeClair worked a give-and-go with Mark Recchi before snapping a shot past Biron.

Buffalo regained the lead just over four minutes later while on the man advantage after Kotalik beat Fleury through the five-hole with a wrist shot from the left circle to give the Sabres a 3-2 advantage.

Game Notes

Fleury, the No. 1 pick in the 2003 NHL draft, was recalled from the minors Monday and Jocelyn Thibault was placed on waivers...Pittsburgh has lost four of five at home...The Sabres improved to 7-0-1 since Nov. 15...Buffalo's Daniel Briere missed his third straight game Sunday with an abdominal strain...Mario Lemieux returned from a stomach virus after he sat out Pittsburgh's 4-1 loss at Tampa Bay on Sunday...The Sabres defeated the Penguins, 3-2, in overtime on October 10 and are 3-0-1 in the last four meetings...Buffalo is now 1-5-2 in its last eight trips to the Steel City.

11/29 22:42:30 ET

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