Final OT

Series (Game 3 of 4)

Buffalo leads 4-0

Game 1: Monday, October 10th
Game 2: Tuesday, November 29th
Game 3: Friday, December 16th
Game 4: Saturday, December 17th

Sabres 4

(21-10-1, 43 pts)

Penguins 3

(8-17-7, 23 pts)

7:00 PM ET, December 16, 2005

Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1 2 3 OT T
BUF 0 3 0 14
PIT 0 2 1 03

C. Drury (Sabres - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

A. Kotalik (Sabres - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

M. Ouellet (Penguins - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Buffalo (20-10-1) at Pittsburgh (8-17-6) 7:00 pm EST

Buffalo (20-10-1) at Pittsburgh (8-17-6) 7:00 pm EST

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) - Sidney Crosby, Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins hope to turn things around under new leadership when they host the red-hot Buffalo Sabres on Friday.

Pittsburgh made waves early Thursday morning, firing coach Ed Olczyk after the team got off to a horrendous start over its first 31 games. The 39-year-old Olczyk was replaced by Michel Therrien.

Therrien spent the first part of this season coaching Pittsburgh's American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The 42-year-old, who has led the AHL's Penguins to a league-best 21-1-2-1 record this season, coached the Montreal Canadiens from 2000-03, compiling a 77-77-22 mark.

After finishing with the league's lowest point total in 2003-04, the Penguins made a number of changes prior to this season and were expected to at least challenge for a playoff spot.

However, the drafting of Crosby and the acquisitions of Mark Recchi, Ziggy Palffy, John LeClair, defenseman Sergei Gonchar and goaltender Jocelyn Thibault have not been enough to change the fortunes of Pittsburgh, which has the fewest wins in the Eastern Conference.

Following Tuesday's 3-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues, who own the NHL's worst record, the Penguins fell to 8-17-6. They are tied with the Washington Capitals with a conference-low 22 points.

Therrien and his new club will be faced with a difficult task in slowing down the surging Sabres, who have won 12 of their last 14 games.

Buffalo posted its fourth straight win Wednesday with a 4-3 triumph over the Dallas Stars.

Martin Biron stopped 32 shots and Daniel Briere scored the game-winning goal as the Sabres squeaked out a victory despite getting outshot, 35-22.