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Buffalo Sabres steal shootout win over the New York Rangers

Apr 3, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA;  New York Rangers defenseman Libor Hajek (25) knocks down Buffalo Sabres right wing Victor Olofsson (68) as New York goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) looks for the puck during the second period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 3, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Libor Hajek (25) knocks down Buffalo Sabres right wing Victor Olofsson (68) as New York goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) looks for the puck during the second period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Tage Thompson scored the game-winning goal in the second round of the shootout and the Buffalo Sabres rallied for a 3-2 victory over the visiting New York Rangers Saturday night.

Buffalo won for the second time in three games following its 18-game losing skid (0-15-3). The Sabres also improved to 1-20-1 when trailing after two periods.

Thompson scored the only goal of the shootout when he slowed down as he approached the crease and lifted a wrist shot over Igor Shesterkin just inside the left post.

Linus Ullmark made a glove save on Artemi Panarin in the first round and made a diving pad save on Mika Zibanejad in the second round. The game ended when New York’s Kaapo Kakko lost control of the puck before releasing a shot in the third round of the shootout.

Victor Olafsson forced overtime when he scored with 3:41 remaining in regulation by lifting a slap shot from the middle of the slot over Shesterkin moments after Panarin committed a defensive zone turnover along the right wing boards.

Casey Mittelstadt scored the other goal for Buffalo and Ullmark made 28 saves, including a diving stick save on New York’s Vitali Kravtsov with 1:58 left in the third.

Panarin scored twice for the Rangers, who are 3-3-1 in their past seven games and are four points behind the Boston Bruins for the final playoff spot in the East Division.

Panarin gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead with 2:08 left in the second when he lifted a one-timer over Ullmark. Buffalo challenged the call for offsides, but the NHL said replays were inconclusive and the goal stood.

New York almost took a 3-1 lead into the third, but defenseman Jacob Trouba’s redirection of a K’Andre Miller pass came right after the buzzer sounded.

Shesterkin stopped 27 shots.

New York opened the scoring on a power play at 10:02 of the first on a deft play by Panarin, who fired the puck into the vacated right side of the net after it caromed off the end boards.

Mittelstadt tied the game nearly three minutes after Panarin’s goal when he finished off a 2-on-1 rush by lifting a wrist shot from the lower edge of the left circle over Shesterkin’s stick.

–Field Level Media