NEW YORK (AP) — Pavel Buchnevich scored the go-ahead goal late in the third period, lifting the New York Rangers over the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 on Thursday night.
Rick Nash scored twice for the second straight game and Henrik Lundqvist made 34 saves for the Rangers, who won their second straight after three consecutive losses.
Buchnevich knocked the puck past Robin Lehner at 16:02, a minute after the Sabres had tied it for the third time on a goal by Rasmus Ristolainen. The goal was the 12th of the season for Buchnevich, who also had two assists.
The Rangers (24-17-5) have won 11 of their last 14 games against Buffalo, which fell to an Eastern Conference-worst 11-25-9.
Buffalo defenseman Justin Falk had tied the contest with his first goal of the season when his long slot eluded Lundqvist at 17:10 of the second.
Falk’s shot from the point slid through just as Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei and Sabres forward Sam Reinhart skated in front of Lundqvist and seemed to hamper his view. Falk’s previous goal came 100 games ago in March 2015, when he was playing for Columbus.
J.T. Miller, who scored the overtime winner when the Rangers beat the Sabres 3-2 in the Winter Classic at Citi Field on Jan. 1, scored midway through the second to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead. Miller’s 10th goal came on the power-play at 8:26 of the second when he rifled the puck past Lehner. David Desharnais assisted.
Lundqvist has dominated the Sabres in recent seasons with an 8-2-0 record since Oct. 31, 2013. He improved to 21-11-4 on the season.
Nash opened the scoring at 1:24 of the first on a breakaway, beating Lehner high to the glove side. Nash has points in nine of last 14 games against the Sabres with 11 goals and five assists overall. Nash hadn’t scored in 12 games before his two-goal performance in a 5-1 over Philadelphia on Tuesday.
The 33-year-old right wing, who has 429 career goals, could become an unrestricted free agent in July after his current eight-year contract expires.
Sabres forward Kyle Okposo knotted the score at 1 with his eighth goal at 18:41 of the first. He slid a rebound past Lundqvist, with assists to Reinhart and Jack Eichel, who has 18 points in his last 13 games.
Nash scored his second of the game and 13th of the season at 6:49 of the third to snap a 2-2 tie, but Ristolainen tied the contest at 3 with a power-play goal at 15:01.
NOTES: Four of the last five meetings between the Rangers and Sabres have been decided by one goal. … The Rangers have won 15 of last 26 games against the Sabres with a 15-8-3 mark overall. … The teams meet again on March 24 at Madison Square Garden. … The Rangers were without defenseman Marc Staal because of a hip flexor. They were also without injured forward Kevin Hayes for the third straight game. … The Sabres scratched defensemen Nathan Beaulieu and Victor Antipin.
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