This is no April Fool’s joke — the Sabres have fallen to the New York Rangers in overtime, 3-2, ending their winning streak at one.
Prior to the game it was announced that Curtis Lazar will be out week-to-week with a lower-body injury he suffered during the second period on Wednesday. Dustin Tokarski started in net for Buffalo (7-23-6) and had a career-high 44 saves.
Rasmus Asplund celebrated his first night back at forward, after missing the last four games with an upper-body injury, by scoring the first goal at just 2:06 into the match.
Colin Blackwell tied the game up for the Rangers (17-15-4) at 6:40 into the second period, a one-timer off a shot from Artemi Panarin. Rangers center Ryan Strome hit a milestone with his secondary assist on the goal. He extended his assist streak to 10 games and is only the 7th player since 2013 to do so.
Ryan Strome extended the NHL's longest active point streak to 11 games (2-14—16) and his assist streak to nine (1-14—15).— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 2, 2021
Only one @NYRangers player has collected an assist in more consecutive games: Brian Leetch (15 GP in 1991-92) #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/xWHPDNiKl8
Prior to the goal, Sabre Jeff Skinner had his stick slashed from him and controlled the puck down the ice with his feet, but nothing became of the strange breakaway.
At 6:17 in the third, the Rangers took the lead with a goal from Filip Chytil. Chytil took advantage of a loose puck while Tokarski was down and outside of the net— and it felt like the end.
Just as the game was looking as though Buffalo was going back to their old ways, Tage Thompson scored off a backhanded pass from Casey Mittelstadt with 3.6 seconds remaining in regulation.
As the clock ran down during overtime, so did the Sabres’ energy. With 27.7 seconds remaining, Mika Zibanejad scored the game winning goal off a 2-on-1 rush with Panarin. The night ended with the Rangers leading shots on goal 47-23, the most an opponent has had against the Sabres this season.
The Sabres and Rangers will face each other again in Buffalo on Saturday at 7 p.m. It will be the first game the Sabres will play in front of a ticketed audience since March 9, 2020.