Pittsburgh 5, Buffalo 4
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Where: PPG PAINTS Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Jake Brenk, Dean Morton
Ryan Gibbons, Brian Mach
PITTSBURGH -- The way Conor Sheary sees it, the winning goal he scored Tuesday night was pretty much all Pittsburgh teammate Sidney Crosby.
"I just wanted to find an open area. I just hung out back door," said Sheary, whose second goal of the game came on a one-timer 16 seconds into overtime after Crosby pried the puck loose in the corner.
"He won the battle and he found me."
The Penguins' 5-4 win over the Buffalo Sabres at PPG Paints Arena was hard-fought -- they twice overcame a two-goal deficit and gave up countless odd-man breaks -- and it provided some relief for Crosby, who not only got the assist on the winner but also tied the score at 3-3 with a goal that broke an 11-game drought.
"You're happy to see it go in the net," Crosby said. "There's a few more probably could have had tonight. There were some good chances. I think as long as they're there, hopefully they'll start going in a little more."
The Penguins (10-7-3) have a 13-game point streak against the Sabres (5-9-4), who have not beaten Pittsburgh since April 23, 2013.
Buffalo's Jack Eichel also ended a goal drought. Eichel, who gave Buffalo a 3-1 lead in the second, had gone eight games with scoring.
Phil Kessel tied it at 4 at 13:49 of the third period for Pittsburgh, which improved to 6-0-1 at home.
Patric Hornqvist had a goal and an assist for Pittsburgh, and Kessel had two points. Kris Letang got the secondary assist on the winner for his 400th career point.
Sam Reinhart had a goal and two assists for the Sabres. Evander Kane and Benoit Pouliot also scored.
Pittsburgh goaltender Matt Murray made 28 saves. Buffalo's Robin Lehner stopped 40 shots.
Buffalo took a 1-0 lead at 3:45 of the first period when Kane converted a pass from Eichel during a two-on-one, lifting the puck over Murray's right pad.
Reinhart pushed that to 2-0 at 16:53 of the first during a Sabres power play. Marco Scandella's slap shot from the center point slammed off the end boards and out to Reinhart in the low slot. He swatted the rebound past Murray.
Hornqvist cut the lead in half with 18.7 seconds left in the first period. From behind the Buffalo net, he banked the puck in off the ankle of the Sabres' Ryan O'Reilly.
"I thought we came out pretty slow in the first and were lucky to come out of that only down a goal," Murray said. "That was a big boost for us. It felt like we were just clawing at it the whole game and coming from behind. We were able to get it done. It says a lot about our resilience.
"We stuck with it tonight as good as any night we have in the past."
Eichel's drought-busting goal came 16 seconds into the second period for a 3-1 Sabres lead. Behind the Pittsburgh net, there was a miscommunication and Crosby's drop pass was picked up by Eichel, who deftly tucked the puck inside the left post on his backhand.
"I misread the play there and gave them a bit of a gift," Crosby said.
Gift or not, Eichel seemed just as relieved as Crosby.
"It's good to get one," Eichel said. "I haven't had one in a while, so hopefully that will jump-start me."
Sheary brought the Penguins within 3-2 at 4:28 of the second. He and Hornqvist were on a tight two-on-none, with Sheary one-timing Hornqvist's pass under Lehner's right pad.
Crosby ended his slump and tied it with a power-play goal at 17:15 of the second period with an easy roof shot when Kessel's shot left a rebound behind Lehner. He has points in 25 of his past 27 games against Buffalo.
The Sabres regained the lead at 4-3 with 6.7 seconds left in the second period with another power-play goal. Reinhart, from behind the net, fed Pouliot, who moved across the top of the slot and lifted the puck past Murray.
"We earned that lead going into the third," Reinhart said. "There's a reason why we have it. We're playing against probably the best team in the world the last few years. We play with a mindset that we're going to take it to them and we play with a lead. Then we get it and we sit back too much."
Kessel scored for the fourth straight game, one-timing a pass from Evgeni Malkin for a 4-4 tie at 13:49 of the third period and extending his point streak to five games.
"He's certainly scoring a lot of goals for us," Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said of Kessel. "He's doing things we've asked him to do. You can see he's making a concerted effort to play the game the right way. When he does that he's an elite player and he's dangerous. The puck comes off his stick differently the way he shoots it."
NOTES: Buffalo D Marco Scandella, who missed practice Monday because of illness, was in the lineup. ... Buffalo F Justin Bailey was activated from IR and assigned to AHL Rochester after missing five games because of a lower-body injury. Coach Phil Housley said the idea is for Bailey to get his timing and confidence back. ... Pittsburgh D Matt Hunwick (concussion) missed his 14th game and has stopped skating after hitting what coach Mike Sullivan described as a plateau in his recovery.
Top Game Performances
Sam Reinhart 3
Patric Hornqvist 3
Sam Reinhart 1
Conor Sheary 2
Sam Reinhart 2
Patric Hornqvist 2
Sam Reinhart 1
||Power Play Goals
Sidney Crosby 1
||Short Handed Goals
Robin Lehner .889
Matthew Murray .875
Robin Lehner 40
Matthew Murray 28
Team Stats Summary
||Face Offs Won
Pittsburgh will play their next game on the road against Ottawa. The Penguins have a W/L % of .444 after a win and .545 after a loss.
Buffalo will play their next game on the road against Detroit. The Sabres have a W/L % of .200 after a win and .308 after a loss.