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Rangers 3, Sabres 2 (SO)

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Rick Nash and Ryan Callahan scored in the shootout to give the New York Rangers a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres after a wild third period sent the teams to overtime at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night.

Henrik Lundqvist stopped chances by Jason Pominville and Tyler Ennis to give the Rangers their second straight win, sparked after forward Brad Richards was sent headfirst into the boards early in the third period by Buffalo's Patrick Kaleta.

The Rangers rallied behind Richards after he was shoved into the boards and spent several minutes on the ice early in an emotion-filled third period. But after the Rangers responded to the check from behind that got Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta a five-minute major and game misconduct penalty with two goals during the extended power play, Buffalo came back to tie the game.

Kaleta will likely receive a call from the league's department of player safety to review the play.

For the second straight game, Nash got the Rangers going, scoring one goal in regulation, one in the shootout and adding an assist. Derek Stepan also scored for the Rangers (10-8-2) while Marian Gaborik had two assists.

Drew Stafford and Nathan Gerbe scored in regulation for the Sabres (9-12-2), who were missing leading scorer Thomas Vanek for the second straight game with an upper-body injury.

Lundqvist made 28 saves in regulation for New York while Ryan Miller had 26 stops for Buffalo.

After pouncing to score twice in less than a minute, the Rangers were on the defensive late in the third and into overtime due to a slew of penalties, with Nash getting called for a questionable hooking call near the end of regulation and then a delay of game in overtime. Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi was also called for boarding in the extra session.

New York had a shot to win it with 2:20 left in overtime when Stepan's wrist shot fell precariously to Miller's left, lingering as Stepan missed his rebound poke attempt while skating around the net.

With Buffalo up 1-0 early in the third, Kaleta shoved Richards hard and the Rangers forward landed headfirst into the boards by the left faceoff circle in the Sabres' zone, at 3:28 of the third.

Richards writhed on the ice, on his back, for several moments as Callahan got into a shoving match in defense of his teammate.

After getting attended to by a trainer, Richards got up after a few moments as Kaleta went off with the five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct.

Thanks to a hooking penalty on Sabres defenseman Andrej Sekera 32 seconds earlier, New York went on a 5-on-3. Struggling for most of the season on the power play, the emotion-charged Rangers quickly cashed in -- twice.

Stepan tied the game 1-1 seven seconds after Kaleta's penalty, on a pretty tic-tac-toe play. Stepan, taking feeds from Nash and Gaborik, poked it inside the left post from close range.

Forty-three seconds later, still on the power play due to the five-minute major, the Rangers went up 2-1 on Nash's wrist shot from the right faceoff circle after a nice pass from Gaborik, with Michael Del Zotto also getting an assist.

Richards recovered enough to get back on the ice shortly after as the adrenaline-fueled crowd chanted for the Rangers -- until the Sabres silenced it four minutes later with a shorthanded goal.

Gerbe poked a loose puck to Steve Ott, who fed it back to Gerbe a moment later at the right faceoff circle. Gerbe knocked the one-timer past Lundqvist in the waning seconds of the Rangers' power play for a shorthanded goal. Lundqvist banged his stick in frustration as the game was tied 2-2 at 11:41.

The Sabres took a 1-0 lead at 8:04 of the second period on Stafford's wrist shot from the slot. After Rangers defenseman Anton Stralman iced the puck, Mikhail Grigorenko won the ensuing faceoff and passed to Stafford who put it in above Lundqvist's left shoulder.

NOTES: Sabres interim coach Ron Rolston said in a pregame news conference Vanek was "real close" to returning and could play against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday. But for Sunday, Rolston said Vanek "just can't do some of the things we need him to do." ... Miller started his 13th straight game in goal for the Sabres as backup Jhonas Enroth has gone nearly a month without seeing action. Enroth last played on Feb. 5, when he allowed four goals in a 4-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators. ... Rangers forward Arron Asham, who has been battling back spasms, was a scratch for the fifth straight game. ... After tying a season-high with 20 shots in the first period of their win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday, the Rangers managed just seven in the first Sunday night. Buffalo was limited to just four at that point.

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