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Crosby's overtime goal lifts Penguins to 4-3 win over Sabres

BUFFALO, N.Y. - With one deflection, Sidney Crosby ended a personal goal-scoring drought and helped the Pittsburgh Penguins make up for a poor performance.

Crosby scored 43 seconds into overtime, snapping a career-high nine-game scoreless streak, and lifting the Penguins to a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night.

Pittsburgh, which improved to 4-5-1 in December, also rebounded from one of its poorest efforts of the year on Saturday in 7-3 loss to Toronto.

"We bounced back from last game and played a good hockey game," Crosby said. "We were working hard, and I thought we deserved to win. Hopefully we can build off of this."

Crosby stopped his drought when he tipped in Evgeni Malkin's shot past goalie Ryan Miller. The play survived a two-minute video review that confirmed Crosby's stick was under the crossbar when he touched it.

"It was pretty close," said Crosby, who scored for the first time since netting a hat trick against New Jersey last month. "But I don't think it was (a high-stick). My stick was angled down. If I would have hit it a little higher up, I think we would have been flirting with danger a little bit more."

Miller disagreed.

"I didn't get a great look, but from my gut feel I thought it was a little high," he said. "Let's just hope they make the right call in Toronto."

Alex Goligoski scored twice and added an assist, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 32 saves to help the Penguins rally from a two-goal deficit.

"We haven't been playing that well, so that's a great road win against a good team," Goligoski said. "It's good for the locker room right now."

Pascal Dupuis also scored, and Malkin had three assists for Pittsburgh (18-11-4), which won for the second time in three games.

"We are managing the puck really well and we found a way to comeback," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "To be able to win that game in overtime, it's a big boost of confidence."

Ales Kotalik and Daniel Paille had a goal and assist each, and Clarke MacArthur also scored for the Sabres (16-13-5), who lost their second straight and third in their last four.

Miller finished with 18 saves.

Down by a goal after two periods, Pittsburgh tied it 3-3 on the power play on Goligoski's second of the game, a wrist shot from the middle of the blue-line that got past a screened Miller with under nine minutes left in regulation.

Paille opened the scoring with his fourth of the year just a minute into the game. From the top of the right circle, Paille sent a shot toward the Pittsburgh net that ricocheted off defenceman Philippe Boucher's skate and into the net.

Kotalik upped the Sabres' lead to 2-0 with his eighth 5:23 into the second period. After taking a feed from Paille, Kotalik went in alone on Fleury from the blue-line and wristed a shot from the slot over the goalie's glove hand.

Dupuis cut the deficit in half with his seventh 55 seconds later, sending a wrist shot from the slot that squirted between Miller's right arm and body.

Goligoski tied it at two with 7:37 left in the second, netting his fifth of the year when his wrist shot from the right point eluded Miller, but MacArthur's power-play goal with 4:02 remaining gave Buffalo the lead again.

"We played hard, so it was a tough break," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "I thought our guys did a great job against a very skilled team."

Notes: Dupuis returned after missing one game because of a lower body injury. ... The Penguins had to bus into Buffalo from Pittsburgh on Sunday because of a blizzard in western New York that prevented air travel. ... Sabres C Jochen Hecht left midway through the second period after the puck produced a cut on his ear. He is day-to-day. ...The two teams split the four meetings this season. ... Buffalo C Derek Roy had his nine-game points streak snapped.



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