BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Conor Sheary scored two goals and Carter Hutton made 43 saves as the Buffalo Sabres beat the New York Rangers 3-1 on Saturday night for their first victory of the season.
Captain Jack Eichel added an empty-net goal in the final seconds for Buffalo. After being booed by their home fans in a shutout loss to Boston in Thursday’s opener, the Sabres (1-1-0) snapped a six-game losing streak at KeyBank Center dating to last season.
Brett Howden scored off a rebound with 4:39 remaining in the game for the Rangers, who started a two-game trip by falling to 0-2 under first-year coach David Quinn.
Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves for New York. The Rangers outshot the Sabres in all three periods and finished with a 44-29 advantage in shots on goal.
Hutton, who led the NHL in save percentage and goals-against average as a backup in St. Louis last season, drew a standing ovation during his first win as the Sabres’ starter when made a sliding save against Howden on a three-man breakaway in the second period. Hutton held up against 14 shots (six on power plays) while the Rangers controlled the action for most of the first period.
Sheary, acquired in an offseason trade with Pittsburgh, scored both of his goals on power plays and played on the Sabres’ top line. The former linemate of Sidney Crosby was moved up from Buffalo’s second group of forwards in the third period of the 4-0 opening loss to Boston.
Sheary skated off the bench to score Buffalo’s first goal of the season with 6:45 left in the first period. Rasmus Ristolainen set up Sheary’s wrist shot from the left circle on a 2-on-1 rush.
Replays showed the Sabres had six men on the ice when Casey Mittlestadt created the scoring chance with a backhand pass from the right board to Ristolainen.
Sabres captain Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart pinged the puck to Sheary for his second goal from the right side of the net 1:42 into the second period.
NOTES: Sheary’s last multi-goal game came in a Penguins win over the Sabres on Nov. 14, 2017. … F Remi Elie made his Sabres debut after being claimed off waivers from Dallas on Thursday. Elie replaced Vladimir Sobotka, who is day-to-day with an upper-body injury sustained during the season-opening loss to Boston. … Rangers F Cody McLeod entered the lineup in place of Vladislav Namestnikov (healthy scratch). … Eichel played for Quinn during his lone season at Boston University in 2014-15. … Hutton is now 4-0-0 against the Rangers.
Rangers: Conclude a back-to-back at Carolina on Sunday. Backup goaltender Alexandar Georgiev will get the start.
Sabres: Continue their four-game homestand with a matinee against Las Vegas on Monday.
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