PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — The Penguins pulled off a come-from-behind win to beat the Buffalo Sabres, 3-2 Friday night.
But in the process, they lost Evgeni Malkin, who had just returned to the lineup after missing five games with a sinus infection and a left knee injury.
Buffalo scored just 17 seconds into the first period with a wrister off a rebound from Paul Gaustad. Rob Niedermayer had the assist.
Niedermayer got his second assist of the night when Michael Grier got the puck past Marc-Andre Fleury at 7:03, giving the Sabres a 2-0 lead. Grier’s wraparound attempt deflected into the net off of Deryk Engelland’s skate.
From there, it was all Penguins.
In the second, Dustin Jeffrey picked up a goal with assists from Chris Conner and Alex Goligoski at 3:50. Jeffrey’s initial shot was stopped, but the rebound bounced off a Sabres’ defenseman in front and into the net.
Tyler Kennedy tied the game less than three minutes later. Kennedy raced into the Buffalo zone and ripped a wrist shot over Ryan Miller’s glove.
Then, Matt Cooke deked around Miller to give the Pens their first lead. The goal was set up by Jordan Staal and Pascal Dupuis.
Malkin suffered a lower body injury when he collided with Sabres’ defenseman Tyler Myers just seconds into the second period. He did not return to the game and will be re-evaluated on Saturday.
Coach Dan Bylsma said Sidney Crosby returned to home to Nova Scotia as he continues to recover from a concussion.
The Penguins are 9-1 without Malkin this season and improved to 8-3-1 without Crosby, who was leading the NHL in goals and points when he was sidelined.