One boarding major pretty much cost the Buffalo Sabres a victory Sunday night, as the New York Rangers used the two power play goals scored during that five-minute span to get to overtime and escape with a 3-2 shootout win.
A game that was painfully boring through the first was equally exhilarating during the second. The two sides combined for 15 shots through the first 30 minutes. Only a Drew Stafford goal at the eight-minute mark of the second period kept it from being scoreless through 40 minutes. He took a Mikhail Grigorenko faceoff and rifled it past Henrik Lundqvist. The game picked up from there, with Buffalo managing 14 total second-period shots and the Rangers nine.
Early in the third period, though, is where the Rangers brought the game to life. Andrej Sekera took a hooking penalty three minutes later, and Patrick Kaleta gave the Rangers a two-man advantage 30 seconds later after boarding Brad Richards from behind. New York scored twice during the five-minute power play, with Derek Stepan and Rick Nash beating Ryan Miller 45 seconds apart. Natha Gerbe actually tied the game on the same power play, though, converting a Steve Ott feed on a two-on-one rush. Neither team scored again in regulation, but the action was furious at both ends.
The action mainly stayed in New York's end in overtime. The Rangers took a penalty near the end of regulation, and another penalty early in the extra session gave Buffalo a two-man advantage. But, despite seven shots, Buffalo's power play woes continued. They went 0-for-5 on the night with the man advantage and went to their third straight shootout.
But Buffalo's shootout success ended quickly. Nash and Ryan Callahan beat Miller, while Jason Pominville and Tyler Ennis were stymied to give the Rangers the win.
New York went 2-for-4 with the man advantage. Buffalo outshot New York, 30-28.
New York improves to 10-8-2, good for ninth place in the Eastern Conference. Buffalo got a point for the fourth straight game and fell to 9-12-2, leaving it tied for 11th in the East and three points out of a playoff spot.
Buffalo's four-game road trip continues Tuesday night in Carolina.
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