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game recap

Sabres defeat Penguins on Eichel OT goal for sixth straight win

Rally after trailing by three, send Penguins to fourth loss in row

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Jack Eichel scored 45 seconds into overtime after the Buffalo Sabres came back from down three goals in a 5-4 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Monday.

The Sabres have won six straight and sent the Penguins to their fourth loss in a row.

Eichel shot under Casey DeSmith's blocker from the right face-off circle for his fifth goal of the season. He had one goal in his previous 17 games since scoring three goals in his first three games this season.

 

[WATCH: All Sabres vs. Penguins highlights]

 

"Just thought it was a great team effort by us. You go down and there's a couple bad bounces," Eichel said. "I think it got away from us a bit tonight. You never want to go down 4-1. I've seen it happen a few times in this building. It's definitely tough to come back. So just the ability to stick with it, not let them to get that next one and then us get that next goal instead."

Video: EA Sports Overtime Winner: Eichel wins it for Buffalo

After Zach Bogosian and Casey Nelson scored to cut Pittsburgh's lead to 4-3, Casey Mittelstadt tied it 4-4 at 11:12 of the third period.

Carter Hutton made 36 saves for Buffalo (13-6-2), which has won six straight for the first time since Dec. 27, 2009-Jan. 8, 2010. Each of the wins has been decided by one goal, and four have come in overtime or a shootout.

"It's just unbelievable the resiliency," Sabres coach Phil Housley said. "We've talked about it the past two weeks. We concentrated on our start, but our execution was off. They took advantage of it. ... We just stayed the course. We didn't bend."

Video: BUF@PIT: Hutton stones Malkin's nice move in front

DeSmith made 35 saves for the Penguins (7-8-4), who are 1-7-2 in their past 10 games.

"There was a lot to like about our game, our effort," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "We certainly have to clean up some areas defensively, but there was also a lot to like in this game as well. ... Every game is important. Every point is important. We're scratching and clawing for everything we can."

Derick Brassard and Phil Kessel scored for the Penguins, and Tage Thompson scored for the Sabres, in the first period. Jake Guentzel and Tanner Pearson scored to give the Penguins a 4-1 lead in the second period.

Brassard skated by Rasmus Dahlin for a breakaway before shooting past Hutton's blocker to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead at 8:46 of the first with his second goal this season.

Video: BUF@PIT: Pearson buries his first goal as a Penguin

Thompson scored on a one-timer over DeSmith's shoulder into the upper-left corner of Pittsburgh's net, tying it 1-1 at 11:43 of the first.

Kessel deflected a pass from Pearson in from the right post to put Pittsburgh ahead 2-1 at 16:15 of the first.

Guentzel made it 3-1 at 1:24 of the second by collecting a rebound and shooting past a diving Hutton. It was upheld after the Sabres challenged for goaltender interference.

Pearson gave the Penguins a 4-1 lead at 5:00 of the second period. It was his first goal since being acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings on Nov. 14.

Bogosian cut it to 4-2 at 10:39 of the second on a one-timer from atop the right face-off circle before Nelson made it 4-3 with a snap shot at 18:12 of that period.

 

They said it

"Obviously, [coming from behind is] something we don't want to get in the habit of, but it seems to be a habit. Just resiliency here. We never stop working." -- Sabres goalie Carter Hutton

 

"[The Sabres] came pretty hard and they're a good team. So they're obviously going to put some pressure on down by a goal [in the third]. Maybe we could've come out harder, but at the same time, we gave ourselves a chance to win too." -- Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith

 

Need to know

Sabres defenseman Marco Scandella left after blocking a slap shot from Evgeni Malkin at 7:13 of the second period. Housley said Scandella sustained a lower-body injury but did not provide further information. ... Sabres forward Conor Sheary returned to Pittsburgh for the first time since being traded on June 27. He won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2016 and 2017. ... Sabres forward Jeff Skinner played his 600th NHL game. ... Penguins defenseman Kris Letang played his 700th NHL game. ... Pittsburgh forward Bryan Rust played his 200th NHL game. ... Penguins forward Sidney Crosby missed a third straight game with an upper-body injury. He participated in Pittsburgh's morning skate Monday but did not take part in line rushes. Sullivan said Crosby has made significant progress and remains day to day. ... Penguins forward Matt Cullen did not play Monday and is out longer-term with a lower-body injury sustained against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, Sullivan said.

Video: BUF@PIT: Guentzel scores to extend the Penguins' lead

 

What's next

Sabres: Host the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBCSP+)

Penguins: Host the Dallas Stars on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; ATTSN-PT, FS-SW+, NHL.TV)

Video: Eichel scores OT winner as Sabres rally to beat Pens

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