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

BUFFALO, NY (AP) No. 1 draft choose Alexis Lafreniere scored his first profession purpose 2:47 in extra time to guide New York Rangers to a 3-2 victory over Buffalo Sabers on Thursday evening.

Artemi Panarin had a purpose and arrange Ryan Stromethe sport’s opening purpose, and Rangers hit a 0-3-1 result in win for the second time this season.

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

Sam Reinhart had a purpose and assist and Jack Eichel additionally scored for Buffalo which dropped to 3-3-2. Linus Ullmark completed with 22 saves in a recreation the Sabers had been out-shot 24-9 by way of two durations and 39-25 general.

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

The purpose got here after Eichel turned the puck in his personal zone. Colin Blackwell collected the unfastened puck and drove up on the correct aspect earlier than throwing a go by way of the center to Lafreniere, who as soon as the puck inside the closest submit.

Rangers lastly gained a purpose by one purpose 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 purpose loss.

“I identical to the tempo now we have performed at, how now we have competed and lots 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’ll get out of this. ”

The Sabers collected to earn some extent in a recreation through which they overcame two deficits by one purpose.

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

Buffalo then tied it on Reinhart’s energy play purpose 20 seconds after Ryan Lindgren was penalized for cross-checking by Kyle Okposo ultimately boards within the Rangers zone. Reinhart was left alone on the left submit the place he redirected in Victor Olofsson’s go from the correct 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 pictures throughout a Rangers power-play midway by way of the third interval, with Jeff Skinner off for delaying the sport.


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

“It’s our definitive No. 1 purpose to get greater than midway into the season in the midst of all of it after which be one of many groups that rises to the highest,” Krueger mentioned Thursday morning. ” We don’t essentially count on to rise there immediately from the hops. ”

Krueger is extra comfy with the Sabers coping with challenges within the early season, equivalent 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 pieces got here too simply for us early,” he mentioned.


Rangers: D Jack Johnson is out with a groin damage, which Quinn referred to as brief 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 recreation with an unhurt damage. C Tage Thompson was a wholesome scraper for the third recreation in a row.


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

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

Extra AP NHL protection: and activities

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