NHL Capsules

Wednesday, 02.05.2014 / 10:25 PM The Canadian Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Sidney Crosby scored a highlight-reel goal and added an assist, leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night.

Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, Brian Gibbons and minor-league call-up Harry Zolnierczyk also scored for Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 24 shots and the Penguins (40-15-2) set a franchise record by reaching 40 wins in 57 games. That eclipsed the mark of 40 wins in 65 games in 1995-96.

Drew Stafford scored for the NHL's worst team, and Ryan Miller finished with 29 saves. Buffalo (15-33-8) dropped to 4-9-4 in its past 17 and is winless in its last eight home games (0-5-3). That's the Sabres' worst home stretch since opening the season 0-8-1.

Crosby scored put the Penguins up 2-1 with a breathtaking play 2:08 into the second period. It came immediately after Fleury stopped Buffalo's Brian Flynn in close.

Crosby circled his own net and built up a head of steam by driving up the left wing. Accepting Matt Niskanen's pass while crossing centre, Crosby didn't break stride in cutting between Flynn and Mike Weber. The Pittsburgh star drove toward the net and snapped a shot just inside the top right corner.

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