BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) -- A blast by Stu Barnes ended the home-ice disadvantage.
Barnes took a drop pass from J.P. Dumont and fired a shot from the top of the slot over the left shoulder of goaltender Johan Hedberg 8:34 into overtime to give the Buffalo Sabres a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The win gave the Sabres a three games to two lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals and was the first by a home team in the series.
The Penguins had won the first two games at Buffalo, holding the Sabres to one goal. But Buffalo bounced back and won the next two in Pittsburgh by a combined score of 9-3 to even the series.
Barnes, who played for the Penguins from 1996-99, haunted them with a pair of goals in Wednesday's 5-2 win. But he may have stuck a dagger in his former team Saturday with the game-winner.
Barnes' shot banged off the inside goalpost, sending the fans into a frenzy.
"I just wanted to let it go," he said. "To be honest, I was looking for the top shelf and just wanted to let it rip."
"I think there was a little bit of a screen, but he got a pretty good shot off," said Hedberg.
The Sabres pulled within 2-1 on a power-play goal by Chris Gratton midway through the second period.
Ironically, Buffalo tied it in the third on a shorthanded goal by Curtis Brown after converting just 1-of-8 power-play opportunities. Brown overpowered Martin Straka as he drove to the net from the right side and shoveled the puck in front. Pittsburgh's Alexei Kovalev went to his knees in the crease in an attempt to knock away the puck, but it went off his skate and past Hedberg with 8:45 left.
Penguins coach Ivan Hlinka took some heat afterwards for using two forwards -- Straka and Kovalev -- instead of two defensemen at the point on the power play with his team leading by a goal in the third period. The move backfired when Brown tied it.
"The two forwards played together on the power play the whole season," Hlinka said. "But every time we send someone on the ice and he makes a mistake, then as the coach you have to take the responsibility for it. I take the responsibility for it."
But Straka took responsibility for allowing Brown to drive to the net.
"That was my guy and I had to have the guy. It shouldn't have happened," Straka said. "It shouldn't go to overtime if I have the guy and they shouldn't have scored with nine minutes to go. I've got to pick him up."
Game Six is Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
The Penguins must be experiencing a bad case of deja vu. Last year, they opened the conference semifinals with a pair of road wins before losing four straight to the Philadelphia Flyers.
"We put ourselves in this position and it's us who can take us out of it," said Hedberg, who was not with the team last season. "This is no time to feel down."
The Sabres have never won a playoff series after losing the first two games, going 0-15.
"We don't think we've accomplished anything yet," Barnes said. "We feel this is a dangerous team we're playing. Just look down their lineup. They've got so many guys that can score and do damage. We're going to have to play a lot better than we did today in Game Six."
Along with scoring the tying goal, Brown was used by coach Lindy Ruff to check Penguins superstars Mario Lemieux and Jagr and held them without an even-strength goal.
"We were down two games to nothing and 2-0 today. I think it just showed the desperation of this team," Brown said. "It's just a huge, huge win."
Lemieux has just one goal in the series and Jagr, who missed two games with a shoulder injury, scored his first of the series on Saturday.
It came with the man advantage after Dumont was penalized for tripping Kovalev with 5:44 left in the first period. Lemieux was stationed at the left faceoff circle and fired a cross-ice pass to Jagr, who ripped a shot past the lunging left pad of Hasek with 5:09 left in the period.
Pittsburgh dominated the opening 20 minutes, outshooting the Sabres, 10-4.
"We were pretty flat in the first period and they changed their style," Hasek said. "They were forechecking much more and were more aggressive. But after the first period, we played our game."
The Penguins received a surprising goal at 2:36 of the second period from their third line of Wayne Primeau, Morozov and rookie Dan Lacouture.
Primeau battled for the puck along the right boards and defenseman Darius Kasparaitis pinched in to help and passed to Morozov behind the net. Morozov waited patiently before passing in front to Kasparaitis, who took a shot from the lower left circle that Hasek stopped with his pad. But Morozov skated in front for the rebound and lifted it over Hasek's right shoulder.
But the Penguins picked up three straight penalties. Buffalo failed to cash in on a 42-second two-man advantage but broke through on the third penalty when Gratton scored on a shot that deflected off defenseman Ian Moran's skate and past Hedberg with 10:06 left in the second period.
It was the sixth playoff goal but first of the series for Gratton, who had one assist in the first four games after compiling five goals and three assists against Philadelphia in the first round.
"The penalties we took in the second period really killed us," Lemieux said. "We're playing pretty well and then we have to kill five penalties in a row. It's tough on a team and it's tough to have any juice left at the end."