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NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Pittsburgh



(Friday, December 16th)

Final Score: Buffalo 4, Pittsburgh 3 (OT)

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Chris Drury poked a rebound past Fleury 1:32 into overtime to lift the Buffalo Sabres past the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-3, at Mellon Arena in the opener of a home-and-home series.

Ales Kotalik and Drury both had a goal and two assists and Martin Biron made 24 saves to record his 12th win in a row. Daniel Briere tallied a goal and an assist and Jochen Hecht notched his seventh goal of the season for Buffalo, which has won five straight and 13 of its last 15 contests.

"They've been playing real well throughout the stretch and they've been blocking a lot of shots and taking hits to make plays," Biron said, referring to his defensive corps. "They are extremely reliable and I feel extremely confident when they are on the ice."

Zigmund Palffy tied the game with his 700th career goal late in the third period and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 23 of 27 shots, but the Penguins couldn't pull out the victory in Michel Therrien's first game as Pittsburgh's coach.

Therrien was given the job on Thursday after Ed Olczyk was relieved of his duties.

"While we took some bad penalties and (Shane) Endicott took some really bad penalties," Therrien said. "In the first 10 minutes, we were sharp and aggressive and on the puck and the penalties took the momentuim away. Pretty simple, when you don't skate, you take penalties."

Michel Ouellet scored his first NHL goal and Ryan Malone scored his sixth of the year for the Pens, who have lost three straight and nine of their last 10 games.

In overtime, with the Sabres on a 4-on-3 power play, Drury gathered a rebound on the doorstep and whacked a shot through Fleury's five hole. It barely trickled over the goal line to give Buffalo the 4-3 win.

Buffalo drew first blood 1:26 into the second period while on the power play after Briere beat Fleury stick side with a wrister from the left circle for a 1-0 lead.

Pittsburgh tied the game just over two minutes later while on the man advantage after Ouellet batted a rebound past Biron's stick side to make it 1-1.

The Sabres regained the lead with 11:55 left in the second frame after Hecht beat Fleury with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle for a 2-1 advantage.

The Penguins retied the game with 2:49 left in the period while on the power pay after Malone wristed a shot past Biron's glove from inside the right circle to make it 2-2.

Buffalo took a 3-2 lead while on the man advantage after Kotalik beat Fleury with a wrist shot from below the right circle with 52 seconds left in the second stanza.

Pittsburgh netted the equalizer with 2:17 left in the third period after Palffy gathered the puck at the side of the net, kicked it to his forehand and pumped a shot into a seemingly open net. Biron dove across the crease and snatched the puck out of midair with his glove. But, upon review, Biron caught it after it crossed the goal line to tie the game at 3-3 and force overtime.

Game Notes

Mario Lemieux returned to action after missing four games since doctors determined he has atrial fibrillation. He tallied an assist...Biron became the first goaltender to win 12 straight starts since Martin Brodeur in 1997-98...Buffalo is unbeaten in its last five games against Pittsburgh...The teams close out the home-and-home set Saturday at Buffalo...Buffalo has won its last eight road games, the most since winning five straight from January 13-30, 1990...The Sabres are 3-0 against the Pens this season...Sidney Crosby was named assistant captain prior to the game and wore the 'A' on his jersey.

12/16 23:03:12 ET

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