Pavel Buchnevich had a goal and an assist, Igor Shesterkin stopped 22 shots and the Rangers beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.
Chris Kreider and Alexis Lafreniere also scored for the Rangers, and Adam Fox had two assists. New York won for the fourth time in six games.
“Good to have a win today,” Buchnevich said. “We’ll take two points and keep it going.”
Shesterkin made eight saves in the first period, nine in the second and five in the third to beat the Sabres for the second time and improve to 5-7-1 on the season.
“In the first period it wasn’t a great thing the first shot went in, but guys rallied and helped me out and we took care of business the rest of the game,” Shesterkin said through a translator.
Sam Reinhart and Tobias Rieder scored for Buffalo, which has lost four straight (0-3-1) and nine of 11 (2-8-1). Carter Hutton finished with 16 saves and fell to 1-6-1 this year.
“It was a very strong defensive game,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said. “Our offense, our power play just didn’t do what it should have done with the opportunity on the table, but we really neutralized them well.”
Neither team had a lot of chances in the third period. The Rangers managed just three shots on goal over the first 10 minutes, while the Sabres had two.
Buffalo pulled Hutton for an extra skater with about 1:40 remaining, but couldn’t get the tying goal.
“We kind of had a bend, don’t break (mentality) and got the win,” Fox said. “They were in our zone, but not too many Grade-A (chances). When they did, Shesty came up big for us.”
Kreider made it 3-1 at 9:32 of the second as he brought the puck along the left side and, with defenseman Brandon Montour on him, fired a shot from above the left circle that beat Hutton up high for his 10th goal.
Rieder pulled the Sabres back within one as his shot from inside the blue line went through traffic and past Shesterkin with 3:39 left in the middle period for this fourth. It was his first goal since Jan. 30 against New Jersey.
“We were lucky to get out of there up 3-2,” Rangers coach David Quinn said. “We did some better things in the third to give ourselves a chance to win.”
Buchnevich got the Rangers on the scoreboard 28 seconds in. He took a long pass from Mika Zibanejad, skated in while fighting off a defender and beat Hutton. It was Buchnevich’s sixth of the season and third in the last seven games.
Reinhart tied it for the Sabres only 27 seconds later. Victor Olofsson chased down the puck on the right side and sent a pass across to Reinhart, who quickly put it past Shesterkin for his eighth.
The Rangers went back ahead at 2:36. After Zibanejad forced a turnover near the right corner, Buchnevich got the puck, skated across to the left side and sent a shot at the net. The puck hit off Lafreniere’s right leg and in for the rookie’s third goal.
“I think we played well,” Buchnevich said of his line. “Hope we keep producing offense for our team and we keep winning.”