Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen had his second career start, saving 38 out of 41 shots. He stood his ground stopping a whopping 19 out of 20 shots alone in the second period. The Sabres (13-30-7) had the first nine shots on goal of the game before the Ranger had their first shot.
A fast paced, scoreless first period only gave the Rangers (26-18-6) momentum to take the lead early in the second period. At 2:22, Brendan Smith scored an unassisted goal
Sam Reinhart scored the only and only goal for the Sabres, tying the game at one with 3.2 second remaining in the second period. This was his 22nd goal and 10th power play goal of the season, now ranking him 9th in the league.
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) April 28, 2021
Dylan Cozen came to the defense of Drake Caggiula, dropping the gloves with Kevin Rooney, who had a dirty hit from behind on Caggiula. This was Cozen’s second NHL fight, both taking place at MSG.
— Buffalo Hockey moments (@SabresPlays) April 28, 2021
Alexander Lafreniere scored the tie-breaking goal for New York at 9:49 in the final period. The quick one-timer was his 10th of the season, and second tie-breaking goal against the Sabres this season. Mika Zibanejad scored the game clinching final goal for the Rangers on the man advantage at 13:49, sealing their 3-1 victory.
Although the Sabres led shots on goal in the first period (16-6), the Rangers ended the night with 41-37. New York’s goaltender Igor Shesterkin stopped 36 shots. Buffalo’s power play finished 1-for-2 for the night, while their penalty kill went 2-for-3.
The Sabres, now 1-4 in their last five games, will head to Boston to finish their series against the Bruins starting with Thursday at 7 p.m. followed by a Saturday afternoon puck drop at 1 p.m.