NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at Buffalo
(Friday, November 28th)
Final Score: Buffalo 4, Pittsburgh 3
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Paul Gaustad scored twice, including the game- winner with 3:24 remaining in the third period, as the Buffalo Sabres rallied to overtake the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-3, at HSBC Arena.
Drew Stafford registered two goals and an assist for the Sabres, who have won two in a row on the heels of a five-game losing streak. Ryan Miller stopped 27 shots for Buffalo, which had lost five straight to Pittsburgh.
The irrepressible Sidney Crosby had two goals for the Penguins, who have dropped two of their last three games. Evgeni Malkin collected two assists and leads the NHL with 27.
Undrafted out of Boston University, John Curry allowed four goals on 32 shots in his first career start. He earned the win Wednesday against the Islanders in his NHL debut, stopping all 11 shots he faced after taking over for Dany Sabourin, who was yanked midway through the second period after allowing three goals on 14 shots.
"It's disappointing, being my first start I wanted to get a win," said Curry. "We battled hard. It just didn't come out our way."
Buffalo tied the game at three early in the third period on an odd-man rush. Derek Roy carried the puck across the blueline and handed off to Thomas Vanek, among the NHL leaders with 15 goals, on his right side. Vanek then slid a pass to Stafford driving to the net and he tucked the puck in on the backhand at the 3:11 mark.
Late in the frame, Jason Pominville fired a shot from the low right circle and Gaustad whacked in the rebound and Buffalo held on down the stretch for the win.
"I thought the all-around game tonight was probably as good as we played since close to the start of the year," said Buffalo head coach Lindy Ruff. "I thought our special teams were exceptional, our desperation and competitive edge, our play away from the puck was good."
Pittsburgh opened the scoring on a beautiful setup from renowned pest Matt Cooke. Cooke came around the far post and slipped a pass through the crease that Tyler Kennedy banged in at the 10:29 mark of the first period.
The Sabres, though, countered 56 seconds later on Stafford's tally. Maxim Afinogenov danced through the attacking zone, skated down the left wing in behind Curry and Stafford, Buffalo's first choice (13th overall) in the 2004 draft, slammed the wraparound feed home.
Buffalo used the power play to grab the lead. Stafford backhanded the puck into the slot for Gaustad, who whiffed on the shot. However, he gathered the puck on a fortuitous bounce off his skate and fired it past the right pad of Curry with 7:39 remaining in the middle stanza.
The Penguins bounced back and tied the game 34 seconds later on Crosby's ninth goal of the season. Pittsburgh then capitalized on a ghastly turnover in the neutral zone by Buffalo defenseman Jaroslav Spacek to reclaim the lead.
Malkin stood up the veteran backliner, allowing Crosby to swoop in and steal the puck. The Pittsburgh captain steam rolled down the left side, faked the slapper before snapping a wrister between the pads of Miller with 56 seconds to go in the frame.
Buffalo last bested the Penguins on April 3, 2007...Dave Andreychuk and former PA announcer Milt Ellis became the 34th and 35th members of the Sabres' Hall of Fame in a pre-game ceremony...Pittsburgh went 0-for-7 on the power play, while the Sabres finished 1-for-4.
11/29 00:12:48 ET