STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Sabres owner Terry Pegula built the building, but it was filled with Penguins fans.
Jack Eichel made sure the Sabres left Happy Valley happiest.
The star center set up two goals during regulation and scored the winner in overtime, beating goaltender Casey DeSmith with an unassisted goal just 25 seconds into the extra session. Eichel used Evander Kane as a decoy during the two-on-one, then cleanly found the net from inside the right circle.
The Sabres improved to 1-1 in their two trips to Pegula Ice Arena at Penn State during the past two preseasons. There was a packed house of 6,222.
Tennyson ties it: Pittsburgh scored two power-play goals in the third period, erasing a 2-1 deficit and moving in front with 11:48 remaining.
Sabres defenseman Matt Tennyson gave Buffalo life. Seth Griffith got the puck in the Penguins' zone and spotted Tennyson charging in from the bench. The blue-liner fired through traffic an instant before absorbing a hit from a Pittsburgh player with 2:45 to go.
No delay: During a delayed penalty call on the Penguins, the Sabres wasted no time scoring the only goal of the first period.
Eichel took control of the puck at the top of the Pittsburgh zone and skated to his right. He then passed to Jason Pominville on the left side of the net, and the winger struck a classic pose. As he went to one knee for the one-timer, the goal light flashed.
Make it two: Pominville scored his second goal of the game with 9:22 left in the second, giving the Sabres a 2-1 lead. The right winger tipped the puck at the top of the crease and grabbed the rebound. His first attempt hit the post, but Pominville stuck with it and finally buried it.
Johnson's back: Chad Johnson got the start for Buffalo and played the opening 40 minutes. He stopped 23 of 24 shots. He had little chance on the only goal. Tennyson knocked the puck away in front of the net, and it went directly onto the stick of Pittsburgh's Zach Aston-Reese with 49 seconds gone in the second.
Shoots, doesn't score: The Sabres' first power play of the night was impressive, though it didn't result in a goal. Buffalo put eight shots on goaltender Antti Niemi.
Evander Kane, Eichel, Pominville and defensemen Zach Bogosian and Nathan Beaulieu were on the first unit. Matt Moulson, Seth Griffith and Hudson Fasching joined Victor Antipin and Matt Tennyson the second unit.
The officials called eight penalties, four on each team, during the first two periods. Three were slashing as the referees continue to focus on the infraction.
Big tipper: The refs called a slashing penalty on Eichel in the opening minute of the third, and the Penguins tied the game at 2-2. Jay McClement redirected Chad Ruhwedel's point shot past Johnson's replacement, Adam Wilcox.
The lineup: Eichel centered for Kane and Pominville. Johan Larsson was in the middle of Moulson and right wing Hudson Fasching. Jacob Josefson was between Griffith and Nick Baptiste. Kevin Porter centered for left wing Nicolas Deslauriers and Justin Bailey.
Beaulieu and Bogosian were the top defensive pairing. Justin Falk skated with Antipin, while Josh Gorges shared the blue line with Tennyson.
Give them an A: Eichel, left wing Evander Kane and defenseman Zach Bogosian served as the alternate captains.
During the second intermission, a trivia question appeared on the scoreboard. It asked fans to name the Sabres' captain. Though Brian Gionta's name was revealed as the answer, he's unsigned and Buffalo doesn't have anyone wearing the "C."
Next: The Sabres will go back-to-back again later this week. They will visit Toronto on Friday in Ricoh Coliseum. The Maple Leafs will come to KeyBank Center at 7 p.m. Saturday.