by Brian Wheeler
The last time the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins met, it took 11 rounds of a shootout for Buffalo to walk away with the 3-2 victory.
On Friday night, Adam Mair didn't let the two teams' second meeting of the preseason get out of overtime.
Charging the Penguins net, Mair beat Pittsburgh netminder Jocelyn Thibault with a quick wristshot before being leveled by defenseman Noah Welch to earn the Sabres the 4-3 victory at the 2:53 mark of the extra period. Buffalo and Pittsburgh meet up on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. in HSBC Arena to conclude the preseason schedule.
The goal was Mair's first during exhibition play and Buffalo's only even-strength score of the night.
Daniel Briere returned to the Sabres lineup for the first time since suffering a hip injury in the first period against Toronto during Buffalo's first preseason game on Monday, September 18.
Briere scored Buffalo's first goal on the power play after faking a shot and cutting around a diving defenseman to tie the game 1-1. He finished the game with more than 18 minutes of ice time and four shots on net.
Teppo Numminen tied the game at two-goals apiece with Buffalo's first shorthanded goal of the preseason just 30 seconds into the third period. Numminen accepted a beautiful pass from Thomas Vanek
and beat Thibault shortside.
With just six minutes remaining in regulation, Maxim Afinogenov dazzled the crowd and the Penguins defense with a great individual effort while shorthanded that tied the score 3-3 and ultimately sent the game into overtime.
Martin Biron remained undefeated during the preseason, recording his third victory in as many starts despite allowing three goals on 18 shots. GAME REPORTSGame Summary | Super Stats | Face-offs | Play-by-Play | Shift ChartSCORING SUMMARY
0-1 (1-7:27): On an odd-man rush, Colby Armstrong received a pass from Nils Ekman and beat goaltender Martin Biron on the shortside for his first goal of the preseason. Ekman and Sidney Crosby get the helpers.
1-1 (2-14:04): Daniel Briere faked a shot, cut around the defenseman and ripped a shot past Jocelyn Thibault on the netminder's stickside. The goal is Briere's first during the exhibition season. Jaroslav Spacek and Brian Campbell get the helpers on the power-play goal. The Sabres man-advantage unit is now 1-4.
1-2 (2-15:24): John LeClair burst down the right wing, out muscled Nathan Paetsch to the front of the net and slipped the puck underneath Martin Biron to regain the Pittsburgh lead. The goal is LeClair's first of the preseason. Karl Stewart and Kristopher Letang get the assists.
2-2 (3-0:30): After a nice individual effort by Thomas Vanek
freed him just feet from Thibault, Teppo Numminen beat Pittsburgh's netminder with a wristshot on the shortside to tie the game at two apiece. The shorthanded goal is Numminen's first of the preseason. Vanek gets the lone assist.
2-3 (3-11:26): Pittsburgh takes the lead on the power play after Colby Armstrong redirected Ryan Whitney's perfect centering pass past Martin Biron for his second goal of the night. Whitney and Sidney Crosby record the assists.
3-3 (3-14:08): Maxim Afinogenov cuts through the middle with a dazzling move and scored in a wide-open net to tie the game at three. The goal is Afinogenov's first of the preseason. Nathan Paetsch and Derek Roy
get the assists on Buffalo's second shorthanded goal of the game.
4-3 (4-2:53): Adam Mair charged the net, tucked it by Thibault with a wristshot and took a vicious check for his troubles. The game-winner is Mair's first of the preseason. The goal is unassisted.