Kyle Okposo also had a goal in the third period, Victor Olofsson had two assists, and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 31 saves as the Sabres bounced back from an overtime loss in Washington for their second win in three games.
“I thought we played probably our best period of the year,” said Okposo, the Sabres captain. “We just have been a little bit too much on our heels and just thinking a little bit too much for the past few weeks, and I just think we came out and attacked. It was a ton of fun to watch.”
The Sabres rallied after Okposo gave a spirited speech during the second intermission.
“We were on the attack. We were aggressive. We were fearless,” Sabres coach Don Granato said. “After the game, I turned it right back over to Okie. I thought he did a great job between the second and third, and postgame we went right back to him for further comments because it was a great job. It was a leadership move but a collective effort.”
Skinner set up Tuch’s winning goal with a pass from behind the net, after Skinner scored his ninth goal on a power play earlier in the third period.
“They got a power-play goal that got them some juice,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “And we’ve just got to be better in pushing back.”
Okposo got his first of the season when he poked in a rebound with 9:08 remaining in the third.
Rasmus Dahlin recorded his 200th assist on Okposo’s goal, and his 250th point in 375 NHL games.
Matt Nieto’s forechecking made it a 2-0 advantage toward the end of the second period. The Penguins’ fourth-liner took advantage of Dahlin’s giveaway to set up Eller alone in the left circle.
“We probably should have been a bit better at possessing the puck,” Crosby said. “I thought we didn’t get a lot of zone time and allowed them to come back at us. Even with that, we had our looks to extend the lead and didn’t do that.”
The Sabres were down to 10 forwards when Zemgus Girgensons left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury, and after scratching Jordan Greenway with an undisclosed injury. Among the forward group was 18-year-old rookie Zach Benson. Skating in his 10th game this season activated the first year of Benson’s entry-level contract.
Penguins defenseman Marcus Petersson went to the dressing room in the closing minutes of the third period after getting hit in the face by Buffalo forward JJ Peterka’s stick. Peterka was hit by Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang, causing his stick to rise into Petersson’s face. Officials overturned a double minor penalty on Peterka after a video review.
Penguins: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.
Sabres: Visit the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl
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