The Pittsburgh Penguins edged out the hottest team in the league, the Buffalo Sabres, 5-3 in one of the most exciting back-and-forth games of the season. Sidney Crosby, who hadn't notched a point in the past two games, had an outstanding four-point game for the Pens. Crosby was in on both first period goals for Pittsburgh, assisting Evgeni Malkin's power play goal which opened the game. Malkin put his own rebound past the red-hot Ryan Miller for his 48th goal of the year.
Crosby then added his fifth goal of the year nine minutes later, slamming it home in front past Miller's left pad. Pascal Dupuis was credited with an assist, extending his scoring streak to 13 games -- the longest in the NHL this season. Unfortunately for the Pens, Buffalo matched them with two goals of their own in the first period. Brent Johnson has had a rough year, and he gave up two goals in Buffalo's first ten shots. Johnson would settle down thereafter, but it was certainly discouraging to see Pittsburgh's work against the recently unstoppable Miller result in no advantage after 20 minutes. The second goal by Tyler Ennis was very soft, as Ennis just threw it on net from a bad angle on the right side
Pittsburgh, however, would respond in the second period adding another two goals on Miller. Crosby was credited with an assist on both James Neal and Steve Sullivan goals. Neal's goal gave the Pens the lead for good and it was set up on pretty cross-ice pass by Crosby that went perfectly through the Sabres' defense.
The Sabres third goal was a flukey occurrence on a Pittsburgh clear attempt after a face-off in the zone. The clear hit the stanchion and fell out of mid-air onto the stick of Thomas Vanek as almost everyone started to skate the other way. Vanek, who was uncontested, put a move on Johnson and cut the lead to 4-3.
The Pens would clamp down in the third period and a Jordan Staal empty-netter would seal the win in the final minute. Pittsburgh now hosts division rival Philadelphia in a Sunday afternoon showdown on national TV.