BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – Jochen Hecht jammed in a loose puck from in close with 20 seconds left in overtime to give the Buffalo Sabres a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night.

Rory Fitzpatrick and Paul Gaustad also scored for Buffalo, while Ryan Miller stopped 26 shots. The Sabres (3-1-0) have opened the season with three straight home wins for the first time since winning their first five in 1984-85.

Mark Recchi and Zigmund Palffy both had a goal and an assist for Pittsburgh. Overall No. 1 draft pick Sidney Crosby had an assist on Recchi’s goal, giving him a point (one goal, five assists) in each of the Penguins four games.

Pittsburgh (0-1-3) has lost three straight games after regulation, including a shootout loss to Carolina.

Tim Connolly set up the winning goal when he put the puck on net from a bad angle from the right boards. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury used his skate to trap the puck against the post when Hecht took several jabs at it before it trickled in.

Fleury stopped 38 shots and kept the Penguins in the game, particularly in the second period when Pittsburgh was outshot 17-5.

His best stop came when he somehow got his glove on Connolly’s slap shot from the slot through a screen in the second period.

Fleury, the first player selected in the 2003 draft, made his first start of the season, filling in after Jocelyn Thibault hurt his knee in practice on Saturday.

After Fitzpatrick and Palffy traded first-period goals, the Sabres went ahead when Gaustad converted a rebound in front, wrapping the puck in around a fallen Fleury midway through the second period.

The Penguins responded four minutes later on a broken play in front of the Sabres net. Crosby, in the slot, fanned while slapping at a bouncing puck, which dribbled to Recchi to the left of the net. Catching Miller leaning the wrong way, Recchi snapped a shot that went in high on the short side.

Miller’s best stops came early in the third period when he got a pad to foil Crosby on a partial break and, seconds later, stood his ground to stop Recchi in close.

Notes: Mario Lemieux made only his second regular-season appearance at Buffalo since 1996-97. It was the sixth of his career, a span in which he’s registered one assist. … Crosby was issued his first career penalty, an interference call for shoving Sabres D Teppo Numminen going after a loose puck at 13:24 of the first period. … Sabres D Dmitri Kalinin made his season debut after missing the first three games with a groin injury.

AP-ES-10-10-05 2152EDT


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