PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jeff Carter redirected a centering pass from Kris Letang between the legs of Malcom Subban 2:53 into overtime to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night.
Pittsburgh extended its winning streak to a season-high six games by relying on the NHL’s top penalty-killing unit at the start of overtime after Carter drew a penalty for tripping with just 5 seconds left in regulation. Carter atoned by deftly slipping the puck past Subban to send his teammates spilling over the bench in celebration.READ MORE: Man Allegedly Drunkenly Breaks Into Bethel Park Apartment
Evan Rodrigues set a career high with his 10th goal and Brock McGinn scored for the third time in four games, but Buffalo pushed Pittsburgh to overtime thanks to a spectacular performance by Subban.
Subban made a career-high 45 saves in his second start with Buffalo since being acquired from Chicago earlier this month.
Zemgus Girgensons picked up his sixth goal of the season for the Sabres and Rasmus Dahlin tied it at 2 with 5:18 left in regulation when he swooped in off the rush, took a centering pass from Rasmus Asplund and fired a shot past Tristan Jarry.
Jarry stopped 19 shots and held steady in overtime as the Penguins killed off their 35th consecutive penalty over their last 15 games. Carter then sneaked in and used his soft hands to help surging Pittsburgh improve to 11-2-1 in its last 14 games.
For most of the night, it didn’t appear overtime was going to be necessary.
The Penguins overwhelmed Buffalo in the opening 20 minutes, pinning the Sabres in their own zone and relentlessly peppering Subban. Pittsburgh fired 21 shots at Subban in the first period, but only Rodrigues found a way to solve him, threading a shot from the right circle through traffic that handcuffed Subban to give Pittsburgh the lead 5:53 in.
Subban exacted a measure of revenge on Rodrigues later in the period with one of the best saves of the NHL season. Rodrigues found himself on the doorstep when the puck came right to his stick. He tried to flick it into the open net only to have Subban reach behind his body with his glove hand to redirect it out of harm’s way.READ MORE: More Than 150 Firefighters Needed To Battle Flames At Bedford Valley Petroleum
Pittsburgh ended up challenging the play, believing the puck had crossed the goal line. An extended review only highlighted Subban’s remarkable stop.
McGinn gave the Penguins a 2-0 lead 6:45 into the second but the Sabres hung in there and eventually found their footing. Girgensons put Buffalo on the board 12:35 into the second and Dahlin’s aggressive decision to jump into the play helped the Sabres pull even and earn a point.
Buffalo defenseman Casey Fitzgerald, the son of New Jersey Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald, had a memorable NHL debut. He picked up an assist on Girgensons’ goal and fought Pittsburgh’s Sam Lafferty in the second period after taking exception to an open-ice hit between Lafferty and Vinnie Hinostroza. Cameras caught Fitzgerald’s mom Kerry covering her mouth as Lafferty separated Fitzgerald’s white helmet from the top of his head.
Buffalo: Has the weekend off before hosting Columbus on Monday.
Pittsburgh: Begin a home-and-home with New Jersey on Sunday when they visit the Devils. New Jersey then comes to PPG Paints Arena next Tuesday.MORE NEWS: President Biden Set To Discuss Infrastructure During Pittsburgh Visit
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