DALLAS - The Buffalo Sabres took some time to get up to speed in their second road game in two nights.
Buffalo rallied from a three-goal deficit to send the game into overtime, and Jason Pominville scored in the sixth round of a shootout to give the Sabres a 5-4 victory over the Dallas Stars on Thursday night. "It was a gutsy win," said Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller, who turned aside five of six Dallas attempts in the shootout. "You could see that hunger. The boys showed up. It was good to see."
The Sabres played poorly in a 4-1 loss in Chicago on Wednesday night and fell into a 3-0 hole in the second period against the Stars.
"We were disappointed with the effort last night," said Paul Gaustad, who had two goals for the Sabres. "We weren't ourselves last night. This was a big win."
The Stars carried a 3-1 lead into the third period and were in front 4-2 midway through the third period before the Sabres struck for two goals in a 15-second span.
Gaustad fired into an open net from close range at 9:54, and Clarke MacArthur was alone in front of the net to tie it 4-4 on a deflection at 10:09.
The goalies prevailed in the first four rounds of the shootout before Jere Lehtinen connected for Dallas in the fifth. But Buffalo's Derek Roy extended the tiebreaker when he backhanded the puck past Marty Turco.
Pominville ended it when he fired a wrist shot through Turco's pads.
"He made great saves on the other guys," Pominville said. "I just saw an opening and decided to shoot it."
The Sabres are in the midst of a stretch of nine road games in a 10-game span. Buffalo returns home from a three-game trip Saturday night against Carolina, then heads back on the road for a six-game trip.
Jochen Hecht also scored for the Sabres.
Matt Niskanen and Steve Ott had power-play goals for the Stars, who also got goals from Trevor Daley and Brad Richards.
Dallas' power play began the night 26th in the NHL at 14.4 per cent, but Niskanen and Ott capitalized on both of the Stars' first-period man-advantage opportunities to grab early momentum.
Buffalo had 18 straight successful penalty kills over five games entering Thursday night.
Niskanen gave Dallas the lead at 10:44 of the opening period, firing a one-timer past Miller from the high slot after a feed from Lehtinen.
Buffalo's Drew Stafford was serving a penalty on Niskanen's goal, and Stafford was back in the penalty box when Ott made it 2-0 on a power-play breakaway at 14:40 of the first period. Mike Modano's long breakout pass sent Ott in alone to beat Miller with a backhand shot.
Daley's shot-pass from just inside the blue line got past a screened Miller at 2:47 of the second period, stretching Dallas' lead to 3-0.
But from that point the Sabres elevated their game, building a 10-3 shots edge in the second period, and Gaustad's power-play deflection at 13:12 of the second period pulled Buffalo to 3-1.
Hecht's goal at 3:01 of the third period narrowed the deficit to 3-2, but Richards scored from the right circle 48 seconds later to restore a two-goal edge that the Stars would soon waste.
"It's an embarrassment and a joke," Ott said. "We come out and dominated the first period. We knew the task at hand and it slipped. It's plain not good enough."
Notes: The Stars have gone to overtime in eight of their last 13 games. ... Buffalo is 5-2 in shootouts this season. Dallas is 3-4. ... Turco picked up an assist on Ott's goal, his third of the season. ... Craig Rivet's assist on Gaustad's goal was the 200th of his career.