Rangers beat the Sabers 3-2 as a result of rookie Alexis Lafreniere’s first profession aim is an OT winner

Alexis Lafreniere from behind

BUFFALO, NY (AP) – Nr. 1 draft Alexis Lafreniere made his first profession aim 2:47 into extra time to steer New York Rangers to a 3-2 victory over Buffalo Sabers on Thursday night time.

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

Igor Shesterkin stopped 37 pictures for his first win since taking up the beginning lineup after Henrik Lunqvistdeparture out of 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 recreation the Sabers had been out-shot 24-9 by means 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 aim got here after Eichel turned the puck in his personal zone. Colin Blackwell collected the free puck and drove up on the correct facet earlier than slicing a go by means of the center to Lafreniere, who as soon as pucked the puck inside close to the submit.

Rangers lastly received 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 identical to the tempo we now have performed at, how we now have competed and lots of occasions we now have been the higher workforce,” Quinn stated 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 wherein 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 submit within the opening minute.

Buffalo then tied it to Reinhart’s power-play aim 20 seconds after Ryan Lindgren was penalized for cross-checking Kyle Okposo ultimately boards within the Rangers zone. Reinhart was left alone on the left submit the place he was redirected Victor Olofssongo 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 means of the third interval, with Jeff Skinner off for delaying the sport.


Sabers coach Ralph KruegerThe aim in a shortened season is to ensure Buffalo stays within the playoffs by means of 36 video games after which see how the final 20 shake 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 stated Thursday morning. “We don’t essentially count on to rise there instantly from hope.”

Krueger is extra snug with the Sabers coping with challenges within the early season, reminiscent of 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 every little thing got here too simply for us early,” he stated.


Rangers: D Jack Johnson is out with a groin damage, which Quinn known as short-lived. He was changed by Brendan Smith, who put out two of the final three matches.

Sabrar: D Henri Jokiharju missed his second straight recreation with an unprotected damage. C Tage Thompson was a wholesome scraper for a 3rd recreation in a row.


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

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

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