NHL Game Summary - NY Rangers at Buffalo
(Saturday, February 23rd)
Final Score: NY Rangers 4, Buffalo 3
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Sean Avery scored the go-ahead goal late in the third period as the New York Rangers took down the Buffalo Sabres, 4-3, in a back-and-forth contest at HSBC Arena.
Avery tallied with 5:05 left in regulation, picking up a loose puck after Brendan Shanahan's blast from the slot was blocked and jamming it by Ryan Miller for the go-ahead tally.
The Sabres had a final chance to tie the game when Michal Rozsival was whistled for interference with 23 seconds to play, but Thomas Vanek's spinning blast went well wide as time expired.
"We got better as the game went on," said Rangers head coach Tom Renney. "I didn't think we were real sharp early even though we had the lead. It took a little while to get our feet under us and get acclimatized to what we needed to do to take the game over not that we did at any point, Buffalo played well but we did enough to get the win and that�s all that matters
Avery also picked up an assist as the Rangers posted their third win in four games. Jaromir Jagr, Nigel Dawes and Brandon Dubinsky all tallied for New York, while Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves in the victory.
New York bounced back from Tuesday's 6-5 overtime loss to Montreal that saw the Rangers blow a five-goal lead.
"It was a tough game for us after we blew a 5-0 lead in Montreal," Jagr said. "We didn't know how the team was going to react. I don't think we played extremely well but we played well enough to win it."
Chris Drury, who was signed by the Rangers as a free agent this past offseason, added an assist in his first game back in Buffalo. Drury played three seasons with the Sabres, including posting a career-best 37 goals and 69 points a season ago.
Ales Kotalik notched his second straight two-goal game for the Sabres, who lost for the third time in five games. Jason Pominville contributed his 17th goal of the year, and Miller allowed four goals on 35 shots.
"I had a feeling that I could put away this game for us," Kotalik said. "Unfortunately it went the other way, one misplay on my part and it costs us the game in the last five minutes and that really hurt."
Buffalo was without their captain, forward Jochen Hecht, who sat out while nursing a strained leg muscle.
The teams combined for three goals over a period of 3:39 early in the first stanza. Jagr's deflection of a Fedor Tyutin wrister opened the scoring 6:10 into the game. Kotalik's shot from the right point tied the game up less than three minutes later, but Dawes put the Rangers back on top just 1:01 after that with a wobbling shot from the left circle that handcuffed Miller.
Just 4:05 into the second period, Pominville tied the game, taking a drop pass from Toni Lydman in the slot and one-timing a rocket past Lundqvist.
Then, with 9:49 left in the period, Kotalik put Buffalo on top, 3-2, when he ripped a shot from the left circle past Lundqvist. Dubinsky tied the game again 34 seconds later, drifting to a wide open spot in front of the net and stuffing home a pass from Rozsival.
Rangers defenseman Paul Mara left the game early in the first period with a head injury after receiving a high check from Buffalo's Patrick Kaleta and did not return...Drury's assist gives him 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in his last 11 games...Derek Roy added a pair of helpers for the Sabres, giving him 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in his last nine contests.
02/23 23:00:58 ET