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NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Pittsburgh



(Tuesday, March 13th)

Final Score: Pittsburgh 5, Buffalo 4 (SO)

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Sidney Crosby's goal in the third round of the shootout sent Pittsburgh to a 5-4 win over Buffalo at Mellon Arena.

Crosby had a goal and two assists in regulation for the Penguins, winners in four of their last five. Sergei Gonchar added a goal and an assist, Ryan Whitney had three helpers, and Maxime Talbot and Ryan Malone also scored.

Marc-Andre Fleury made just 15 saves for his 33rd win of the year.

"We deserved to win tonight," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "I think we had the right attitude starting the game and it was a good hockey game and we deserved to win. It was the No. 1 team in the conference. It was a huge test."

The win capped a big day for the Penguins, who announced earlier an agreement with city, county and state officials for the financing of a new arena that will keep the club in the Steel City for the next 30 years.

At a cost of $290 million, the new building will be constructed across the street from Mellon Arena, home to the Pens since the team's 1967 inception. Team officials expect the new arena to be ready for the start of the 2009-2010 season. The club will play at Mellon until then on a short-term lease extension.

Daniel Briere recorded a goal and two assists for the Sabres, who have lost four straight games as injuries to five regulars have taken their toll. Jason Pominville and Chris Drury picked up a goal and one assist each, and Dmitri Kalinin also tallied in defeat.

"We're a team that relies on speed," Briere said. "Tonight, we didn't move our legs. We obviously become very vulnerable and that's what got us in trouble."

Ryan Miller stopped 34 shots in regulation but gave up two goals on three shots in the shootout to take the loss.

Crosby, the NHL's scoring leader, used multiple stick fakes on his shootout chance, stuffing the puck into the net after pulling Miller all the way across the crease. Thomas Vanek followed for the Sabres, but his try was muted by Fleury, who closed his pads on the shot.

The win moved Pittsburgh within one point of fourth-seed Ottawa in the Eastern Conference playoff race. With a point in the shootout loss, Buffalo moves two points ahead of New Jersey in the race for top seed in the East.

Deadlocked after two periods, Crosby put the Pens ahead, 3-2, at 1:18 of the third. Mark Recchi and Evgeni Malkin accompanied the young forward on a power- play rush, and Recchi's floater from the high slot found Crosby in front, and he chipped the puck right under the crossbar.

The lead was boosted to 4-2 midway through the period when Gonchar's left point blast hit a body in front and deflected past Miller on the short side.

However, Buffalo responded with 7:14 to play, as Briere took a pass from Jochen Hecht inside the Pittsburgh blue line, broke in on Fleury and scored with a snapshot high on the right side.

Buffalo then shocked the capacity crowd with a goal only 7.1 seconds before the buzzer to tie the game 4-4, after Briere gained control of a wraparound behind the Penguins' net and fed in front to Drury, who was unmarked in the slot.

Buffalo struck first as Pominville scored with 3:33 to play in the first, but Pittsburgh responded 41 seconds later when Gonchar's wrister from the right circle was tipped home by Malone.

Talbot put the Pens ahead 2-1 with 3:27 left in the second on a fluke shot from a sharp angle on the right side that hit the inside of Miller's right pad and bounced in.

In a period statistically dominated by the home team, only 1:43 remained when Kalinin took a Drury feed, wound up and blasted from 35 feet and beat Fleury cleanly for a 2-2 tie. The Sabres could only muster two shots on net in the middle period, and were fortunate to enter the third even with the Pens.

Game Notes

Buffalo is 5-1-1 in the last seven matchups between the clubs...The Pens recorded their first win over the Sabres at home since December, 2003...Buffalo falls to 21-9-3 as the visitor this year, and has won three of its last four away from home...Pittsburgh outshot Buffalo 15-2 in the second period and 3-0 in overtime...The Sabres continue their four-game road trip in Florida on Thursday, and the Penguins head to New Jersey on Wednesday.

03/13 23:28:39 ET


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