BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -Jason Pominville had a goal and two assists during a 2:07 span of the third period, leading the Buffalo Sabres to a 5-3 comeback victory over the Florida Panthers on Wednesday night.
Tim Connolly scored the go-ahead goal to cap the surge and added an assist for a Buffalo team that overcame a 3-1 deficit and won for only the second time in eight games (2-5-1). Clarke MacArthur, Craig Rivet and Maxim Afinogenov also scored for the Sabres, who needed a win to avoid falling further out of playoff contention.
With 78 points and nine games left, Buffalo remains in 10th place in the Eastern Conference standings, but moved within five points of eighth-place Montreal.
The ninth-place Panthers not only squandered a two-goal lead, but also an opportunity to move into a tie with idle Montreal.
Brett McLean had a goal and assist, and Richard Zednik and Michael Frolik also scored for Florida, 1-4-3 in its past eight games. The Panthers lost for only the sixth time this season when entering the third period with a lead.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves for his fourth shutout of the season to help Pittsburgh keep pace in the tight Eastern Conference playoff race.
Defensemen Kris Letang and Hal Gill scored, and Evgeni Malkin had two assists, giving him a career-high 107 points and extending his NHL scoring lead to 11 points.
After having its 12-game points streak snapped in a 3-1 loss to Philadelphia on Sunday, the Penguins beat the Flames to take over sole possession of sixth place in the conference with 88 points - a point behind Carolina and two behind Philadelphia.
Fleury has 15 career shutouts.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Rod Brind'Amour and Anton Babchuk scored third-period goals, and Cam Ward made 21 saves to help Carolina win its season-high fifth straight game and match the club record of with its ninth home win in a row.
Rod Brind'Amour tied it at 3:15 of third, and assisted on Babchuk's power-play goal with 6:01 left. Ryan Shannon scored for the Senators, who were denied their season-high sixth straight win. They had won nine of 10 to move within nine points of the East's eighth playoff spot, but fell to 12-19-4 on the road.
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) - Marian Gaborik had two goals and two assists, Andrew Brunette and Owen Nolan each scored once and set up two others, and Minnesota snapped a five-game road losing streak.
Martin Skoula and Antti Miettinen added goals, and Niklas Backstrom made 32 saves for his 33rd victory. Minnesota jumped over St. Louis and tied ninth-place Nashville with 78 points in the Western Conference playoff race. The Wild were 2-7-2 in their previous 11 road games - averaging only two goals per contest.
Bruno Gervais and Andy Hilbert scored for New York.