PITTSBURGH -- The balance of power in the Eastern Conference seemed to shift slightly in the second period Monday night with Tanner Pearson's rebound goal past Carter Hutton.
That revived the sold-out crowd at PPG Paints Arena and gave the Pittsburgh Penguins, one season removed from a second consecutive Stanley Cup, a three-goal lead. The Sabres responded with their fourth dramatic comeback in the past week, roaring back with four goals and Jack Eichel scored in overtime to beat the Penguins, 5-4, for Buffalo's first six-game winning streak since 2010.
Buffalo, now 13-6-2, swept the three-game road trip with wins in Winnipeg and Minnesota. Casey Mittelstadt's wrist shot at 11:12 into the third period tied it. Hutton stopped 36 shots, including a Phil Kessel breakaway with the score tied late in the third period.
Defenseman Casey Nelson, defenseman Zach Bogosian and winger Tage Thompson scored for the Sabres. Trailing 4-1 following three unanswered goals, Bogosian scored with a one-timer slap shot on a pass from Jeff Skinner at 10:39 into the second, and Nelson's shot from the right circle with 1:48 to play in the period drew the Sabres within one.
The Penguins, without a win in their previous 10 games, received goals from Derick Brassard, Kessel, Jake Guenztel and Pearson. Backup goalie Casey DeSmith stopped 35 shots.
Man down: Sabres defenseman Marco Scandella left for the locker room at 7:13 of the second period and did not return after blocking a slap shot by Evgeni Malkin. Scandella was penalized on the play because he swung his stick and hit Malkin in the head while falling to the ice.
Spreading the wealth: Of the seven Sabres defensemen to appear in a game this season, each has scored at least one goal. Nelson was the only remaining scoreless defenseman before his shot deflected off Penguins defenseman Jack Johnson for Buffalo's third goal.
17 of 18: By killing the Penguins' two power plays, the Sabres have now killed off 17 of their last 18 penalties.
Ugly start: The first period was by far Rasmus Dahlin's worst of the season. The 18-year-old defenseman was partly responsible for both Penguins goals. Dahlin struggled to adjust when skating backwards at center ice, allowing Brassard to skate past him for the first goal.
Kessel was able to one-time that pass from Pearson for a goal after he beat Dahlin to the net. Earlier in the first, Dahlin dove to try to keep Eichel's errant pass in the offensive zone, leading to a 2-on-0. Dahlin also was in front of the net in the second period when Pearson shot a rebound past Hutton to make it 4-1.
Takedown: Penguins fourth-line center Riley Sheahan dropped his gloves at 16:50 in the first when Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe hit Zac Aston-Reese from behind. An official immediately blew the whistle for a penalty, but McCabe proceeded to drop Sheahan to the ground with a right hook.
The two received fighting majors and McCabe was assessed an additional two minutes for boarding.
Patience pays: Thompson has performed like an AHL player facing superior competition. Coach Phil Housley's patience with the 21-year-old paid off Monday with two outstanding plays, beginning with the shot on a pass from Sam Reinhart.
Thompson later forced a turnover in the Sabres' zone when Reinhart was checked off the puck by the Penguins' Johnson.
Saved again: Hutton prevented the Sabres from unraveling in the first period. Though they started strong in the first five minutes, the Penguins were the far better team for the final 15 minutes of the period. Hutton stopped two shots on a 2-on-0, first on Derek Grant's breakaway and then Aston-Reese's shot on the rebound.
Hutton then stopped Evgeni Malkin and Guentzel from in front of the net. Hutton stopped 24 of 26 first-period shots during his two starts on the trip.
Another homecoming: Conor Sheary, a member of the Penguins' back-to-back Stanley Cup champions, was honored with a tribute video during the first period. He waved to the crowd as a sign of gratitude before play resumed.
January 23: Buffalo didn't win its 13th game last season until January 23, a 5-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers.
Next: The Sabres flew back to Buffalo, where they'll practice Tuesday at KeyBank Center in preparation for a game against the Philadelphia Flyers the following night. The game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network.