NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at NY Rangers
(Saturday, March 21st)
Final Score: NY Rangers 5, Buffalo 3
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Henrik Lundqvist made 37 saves to help the resurgent New York Rangers to a 5-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden.
Ryan Callahan tallied two goals while Nikolai Zherdev, Chris Drury and Markus Naslund each had a goal for the Rangers, who have won three straight and seven of their last nine games.
"They kept putting a lot of pucks on the net," said Lundqvist. "You have to be sharp. We put them in a bad spot early. It was a fun game to play, there was a lot of action. It was a good win for us."
With the win, New York has 84 points on the season and is sitting in the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Clarke MacArthur, Daniel Paille and Toni Lydman each had a goal for the fading Sabres, who have dropped four straight and six of seven. Patrick Lalime was charged with four goals on 19 shots. Mikael Tellqvist played the third period and stopped all 11 shots he saw.
"It's disappointing because it doesn't matter how the game looks cause we need the points and we didn't get them tonight," said Lydman. "It's just very disappointing. It's the time of the season when the little things matter and the little mistakes cost you."
Buffalo still has an outside chance at grabbing a playoff spot, but the team sits in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 76 points and, with 10 games to play, is five points out of eighth place.
New York was awarded a penalty shot just 6:24 into the game when Lauri Korpikoski was tripped up on a breakaway, but his wrister was stopped by Lalime.
However, the Rangers grabbed the lead at the 9:01 mark of the first as Marc Staal threw a pass down low from the right point that hit off sticks in front and Naslund backhanded it into the net.
New York took a 2-0 lead 2:25 into the second on the power play as Paul Mara's shot from the right point was redirected into the net by Drury for his 18th goal of the season.
Buffalo answered just 27 seconds later when a Dominic Moore shot from the slot went off the skate of Paille at the left side of the net.
The Rangers, though, scored twice more in the frame to take a 4-1 lead into the second intermission.
Brandon Dubinsky sent a lead pass for Callahan for a clean breakaway. Callahan went from the backhand to the forehand and slid the puck past the left pad of Lalime at the 5:25 mark.
New York made it a 4-1 game with 2:34 to play in the second as Zherdev threw a shot on net from the right side that hit off of Buffalo's Chris Butler and went into the net.
Buffalo cut into its deficit just 18 seconds into the third period. A keep in the New York end resulted in the puck going to Paul Gaustad, who threw a shot on net from the right boards. Lundqvist made the save, but he kicked the rebound out to the left where MacArthur smacked it home to make it a 4-2 game.
With 1:21 to play, Buffalo made it 4-3 as Lydman banged in a rebound from the left side.
The Sabres pulled Tellqvist with a bit over a minute to play, but Callahan sealed the win with his empty-net goal.
New York hosts Ottawa on Sunday...Buffalo has off until Wednesday when it will host Florida...Buffalo won three of the four games in the series this season...Drury, who also had an assist in the game, has nine power play goals on the season, which leads the team...New York went 1-for-2 on the power play while Buffalo failed to score on any of its five chances.
03/21 23:01:02 ET