Lafreniere’s first aim seals the Rangers’ 3-2 OT victory over Buffalo

BUFFALO, NY (AP) – Draft No. 1 Alexis Lafreniere scored his first profession aim 2:47 into time beyond regulation to guide New York Rangers to a 3-2 victory over Buffalo Sabers on Thursday night time.

Artemi Panarin had a aim and arrange Ryan Strome’s opening aim, and the Rangers struck a 0-3-1 slip to win for the second time this season.

Igor Shesterkin stopped 37 photographs for his first victory since he took over the beginning duties after Henrik Lunqvist’s departure exterior the season.

Sam Reinhart had a aim and assist and Jack Eichel additionally scored for Buffalo which dropped to 3-3-2. Linus Ullmark completed with 22 saves in a sport the Sabers had been out-shot 24-9 by means of two intervals and 39-25 total.

Lafreniere, the newcomer from Quebec, needed to wait 4 months earlier than being chosen first within the draft, which was delayed till October as a result of coronavirus pandemic. And he needed to wait till his seventh profession sport to register his first level.

The aim got here after Eichel turned the puck in his personal zone. Colin Blackwell collected the unfastened puck and drove up on the fitting facet earlier than throwing a go by means of the center to Lafreniere, who as soon as the puck inside the closest put up.

Rangers lastly gained a aim by one aim after going 0-3-1 throughout their final 4 outings.

New York coach David Quinn maintained optimism within the NHL’s youngest lineup by noting that Rangers’ final 4 outings had been a aim loss.

“I similar to the tempo now we have performed at, how now we have competed and plenty of occasions now we have been the higher group,” Quinn mentioned earlier than the match. “It doesn’t matter if you don’t win, however we’re actually inspired by the progress of our younger gamers. … I’ve little doubt we are going to get out of this. ”

The Sabers collected to earn some extent in a sport during which they overcame two deficits by one aim.

The sport turned in Sabers’ favor through the third interval, beginning with Ullmark’s kick from his proper pad to cease Lafreniere, who was left alone on the left put up within the opening minute.

Buffalo then tied it on Reinhart’s energy play aim 20 seconds after Ryan Lindgren was penalized for cross-checking by Kyle Okposo in the long run boards within the Rangers zone. Reinhart was left alone on the left put up the place he redirected in Victor Olofsson’s go from the fitting circle.

Okposo briefly went up the tunnel earlier than returning to the bench after injuring his left ankle.

Ullmark was even sharper when he stopped six photographs throughout a Rangers power-play midway by means of the third interval, with Jeff Skinner off for delaying the sport.

20-SPOT

Sabers coach Ralph Krueger’s aim in a shortened season is to verify Buffalo stays within the playoffs by means of 36 video games after which see how the final 20 shake issues out.

“It is our final aim No. 1 is to get greater than midway into the season in the midst of all of it after which be one of many groups rising to the highest,” Krueger mentioned Thursday morning. “We don’t essentially count on to rise there immediately from hope.”

Krueger is extra snug with the Sabers coping with challenges within the early season, similar to their 1-3 begin, versus final season when Buffalo opened with a 9-2-2 earlier than fading to overlook the playoffs for the ninth season in a row.

“I actually felt that all the things got here too simply for us early,” he mentioned.

SHRIMPS

Rangers: D Jack Johnson is out with a groin damage, which Quinn referred to as quick time period. He was changed by Brendan Smith, who has put out two of the final three video games.

Sabers: D Henri Jokiharju missed his second straight sport with an unhurt damage. C Tage Thompson was a wholesome scraper for the third sport in a row.

JUST

Rangers: Dwelling to 2 video games towards the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday and Monday.

Sabers: Dwelling to 2 video games towards the New Jersey Devils on Saturday and Sunday.

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Extra AP NHL protection: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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