NHL Game Summary - NY Rangers at Buffalo|
(Friday, May 4th)
Final Score: Buffalo 2, NY Rangers 1 (OT)
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Maxim Afinogenov scored 4:39 into overtime as
the Buffalo Sabres downed the New York Rangers, 2-1, to take the lead in their
Eastern Conference semifinal series at HSBC Arena.
Rangers center Blair Betts was called for hooking in the extra session and the
Buffalo power play went to work. Afinogenov took a pass from Jason Pominville
and blasted a slap shot from the high slot that beat Henrik Lundqvist through
the pads for the win.
"I just tried to shoot the puck, guys were screening the goalie, and it went
in," said Afinogenov.
Chris Drury scored late in regulation to tie the game and Ryan Miller made 22
saves for the Sabres, who now hold a 3-2 lead in the best of seven series.
Martin Straka scored the lone goal and Lundqvist made 38 saves for the
Rangers, who had won Game's 3 and 4 in New York after dropping the first two
games in Buffalo.
"We are not going to win too many games playing a 'B' game," said Rangers
coach Tom Renney. "The next time we give an opportunity like this to an
opponent the series is over. We know we can play much better, and we look
forward to another great challenge."
Game 6 is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.
Late in the third period Straka got the Rangers on the board as he snapped a
wrister, using a Buffalo player as a screen, from the top of the left circle
that beat Miller on the glove side.
It was initially called no-goal by the on-ice official as the puck hit the
camera in the back of the net and came out quickly. However, after a short
replay, it was ruled a goal.
The Sabres pulled Miller with under two minutes to play and the move paid off.
After the Rangers iced the puck, Buffalo won a right circle faceoff and set
up. Tim Connolly unleashed a one-timer from the top of the left circle through
traffic that Lundqvist made the save on. However, the rebound squirted to the
left side and Drury banged it in with just 7.7 seconds left in regulation to
send the game to overtime.
"Momentum is such a huge thing and to score with seven seconds left, we were
pretty happy obviously," said Drury. "We refocused, being on the other side,
if you gave it up it's probably harder to bounce back."
Neither team got on the scoreboard in the first period and there was a total
of 15 shots, eight from the Rangers.
The best opportunity came about one minute in when Drury blasted a one-timer
from the left circle, but Lundqvist used the blocker to knock the shot aside.
Buffalo was all over the Rangers in the second period, but Lundqvist continued
his stellar play in the series and stopped a total of 17 shots in the frame
and helped to kill off three Buffalo power plays.
Lundqvist's best saves came with a little over two minutes remaining in the
frame as he saved a point shot through a screen and then stopped a Daniel
Briere rebound chance from point-blank range.
New York managed only six shots on net in the second.
Sabres center Derek Roy turned 24 on Friday...Buffalo went 1-for-6 on the
power play while New York failed to score on any of its seven
opportunities...Including this series, the Rangers have dropped five straight
and seven of their last eight games in Buffalo.
05/05 00:22:50 ET