Sore nose and all, Sidney Crosby had a goal and three assists to help the Pittsburgh Penguins snap a mini-slump with a 4-3 victory over Buffalo on Friday night that slowed the Sabres' late-season surge.
It was Crosby's third four-point game in a season in which concussion troubles have limited him to 18 games. And it came after he was held without a point in his past two outings and a day after his nose was bloodied by a puck in a 5-3 loss at the New York Islanders.
Steve Sullivan had a goal and two assists, Evgeni Malkin had a goal and assist, and Pascal Dupuis set up two to extend his points streak to an NHL season-best 13 games. Pittsburgh (48-24-6) rebounded from two straight losses to the Islanders and moved four points ahead of fifth-place Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Sabres (38-30-10) had a five-game winning streak snapped, and dropped into ninth place, behind the Washington Capitals. Both teams have four games left and 86 points, but the Capitals hold the tiebreaker edge.