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game recap

Crosby scores, helps Penguins defeat Sabres in overtime

Center gets first goal in 12 games; Sheary wins it for Pittsburgh

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby scored for the first time in 12 games, and Conor Sheary got his second goal of the game 16 seconds into overtime to help the Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the Buffalo Sabres 5-4 at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday.

Crosby battled with Evander Kane behind the net before feeding Sheary, who sneaked a shot inside the right post.

 

[WATCH: All Sabres vs. Penguins highlights]

 

"It's good to come from behind and win," Sheary said after the Penguins twice trailed by two. "I know we're resilient like that. … We want to have a better start and maybe come out with a lead right out of the gate."

With the Sabres leading 4-3 in the third period, Phil Kessel scored for the fourth consecutive game to tie it. Evgeni Malkin sent a cross-ice pass to Kessel, who dropped to one knee and one-timed a shot past Robin Lehner with 6:11 remaining in the period.

Video: BUF@PIT: Kessel sends nice one-timer past Lehner

The Penguins (10-7-3) are 12-0-1 against the Sabres (5-9-4) since a 4-1 loss on April 2, 2013.

After Crosby tied it 3-3 on a power play with 2:45 remaining in the second period, Benoit Pouliot scored a power-play goal to give Buffalo a 4-3 lead with 6.7 seconds left in the period. The goal was Pouliot's sixth of the season, all in the past 10 games.

Crosby ended his 11-game drought by collecting a rebound off a shot from Kessel and shooting past Lehner. He hadn't scored since Oct. 20, in a 4-3 win against the Florida Panthers.

The drought ended one game shy of Crosby's NHL career high of 12, from Nov. 23, 2011, to March 22, 2012.

"You're happy to see it go in the net," Crosby said. "There were some good chances. I think as long as they're there, hopefully they'll start to go in a little bit more."

Jack Eichel ended a drought of his own when he scored for the first time in nine games to give the Sabres a 3-1 lead 16 seconds into the second period. Crosby turned the puck over behind the Pittsburgh net, which led to Eichel backhanding a shot around the right post for his first goal since Oct. 21, in a 5-4 win against the Boston Bruins.

Video: BUF@PIT: Eichel slips nifty backhand past Murray

"It's good to get one," Eichel said. "I haven't had one in a while, so hopefully that will jump-start me."

Eichel wasn't pleased with the Sabres' inability to hold that lead.

"First two periods, I thought we tried to take it to them," Eichel said. "Third period, we sat back and let them take it to us. We played scared to lose and not to win."

Sheary made it 3-2 with a wrist shot under Lehner's right pad during a 2-on-1 at 4:28 of the second period.

Video: BUF@PIT: Sheary buries wrister past Lehner

Buffalo seemed set to carry a 2-0 lead into the first intermission before a gaffe by Lehner led to Pittsburgh's first goal.

Lehner fumbled the puck behind his net, which allowed Patric Hornqvist to race down the ice and retrieve it. With the net vacated, Hornqvist shot the puck in off Ryan O'Reilly in front to cut Buffalo's lead to 2-1 with 19 seconds remaining in the period.

Kane and Sam Reinhart scored the Sabres' two first-period goals. Kane shot the puck off the left post to score on a 2-on-1, giving Buffalo a 1-0 lead at 3:45. Reinhart scored a power-play goal on a wrist shot, putting the puck between the right post and goalie Matt Murray to make it 2-0 with 3:07 left in the first.

 
Goal of the game

Sheary's goal 16 seconds into overtime. 

Video: BUF@PIT: Sheary nets Crosby's feed for OT winner

 

Save of the game

Murray's save on Eichel at 12:56 of the third period.

Video: BUF@PIT: Murray turns away Eichel on the rush

 

Highlight of the game

Crosby's goal at 17:15 of the second period.

Video: BUF@PIT: Crosby nets rebound for power-play goal

 

They said it

"I think we've got a character group. They're good people and they care, and they want to win. I think we have to play a little smarter." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan

"It's frustrating. We have to do a better job. We earned that lead going into the third. There's a reason why we have it. … 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." -- Sabres forward Sam Reinhart

 

Need to know

Penguins defenseman Kris Letang had an assist on Sheary's overtime goal for his 400th NHL point in 623 games. … Sabres defenseman Marco Scandella played 26:34 to lead all skaters and had an assist after missing practice Monday with an undisclosed illness. 

 

What's next

Sabres: At the Detroit Red Wings on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; SN360, FS-D+, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Penguins: At the Ottawa Senators on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; RDS2, TSN5, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Sheary, Penguins edge Sabres in overtime, 5-4

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