The effort was there. So was another late comeback.
The victory wasn't.
The Sabres dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to the New York Rangers on Thursday night. The Sabres rebounded from a lackluster showing Tuesday in Montreal, but it only resulted in one point. They are 0-2-1 in their last three games and saw a four-game winning streak in KeyBank Center end.
After Evander Kane hit the post in overtime, the Rangers' Michael Grabner raced to the Sabres' net and forced Taylor Fedun into a slashing penalty with 3:08 left. The Rangers ended the game just as Fedun was exiting the box.
Chris Kreider worked a perfect give-and-go with J.T. Miller and buried the return pass with 1:04 left.
Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner was a hard-luck loser, stopping 42 shots.
Tie it up: Cody Franson continued his hot streak and ended Henrik Lundqvist's shutout bid with 5:31 to play. After Kyle Okposo entered the Rangers' zone with the puck, Tyler Ennis got it to the slot. Franson glided to open ice and went low into the right corner with the Sabres' 34th shot.
Franson has six points in the last six games, scoring twice. The defenseman raised both arms straight up to celebrate the latest.
Bogosian hurt: Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian left the game with a middle-body injury. His final shift came with 4:41 to go in the first period. Just prior to its conclusion, he absorbed a hit into the boards from the Rangers’ Jimmy Vesey.
Kill or be killed: The Sabres’ penalty killers have allowed a goal in eight of the past 12 games. New York took a 1-0 lead on the power play with 2:10 to go in the second period.
With Marcus Foligno in the box for holding, New York defenseman Ryan McDonagh fired a blast from the top of the right circle. Mats Zuccarello, one of two Rangers stationed in front, reached out to tip the shot into the top corner.
Busy man: Lehner faced 29 shots during the opening two periods and 39 in regulation. He made his top save with one minute gone in the second, stopping Jesper Fast at the left side of the crease and then sliding to his right to get his pad on Michael Grabner’s attempt.
Staying strong: Lundqvist did his best work during a Sabres power play with 15 minutes to play. Buffalo repeatedly buzzed the crease, but the goalie refused to let Kyle Okposo and Sam Reinhart score from the blue paint. The Sabres had recorded a power-play goal during the previous two games.
Goalies shine early: The fast-paced first period featured 14 shots for the Rangers and 12 for the Sabres, with each team getting great scoring chances. The goaltenders kept it scoreless.
Lundqvist made a pair of saves on Dmitry Kulikov in the opening two minutes, then thwarted Brian Gionta in front after a nice drive and pass by Kane. Lehner got help from New York’s Pavel Buchnevich. Marc Staal set up Buchnevich for a tap-in, but the forward misfired. Instead of the empty net, Buchnevich shot wide and into Lehner’s pad.
Line them up: The trio of Kane, Gionta and Zemgus Girgensons combined for nine of the Sabres’ 12 shots during the first. Kane had nine shot attempts, including five on net.
Dropped: Zemgus Girgensons added Ryan McDonagh to his hit list, sending the Rangers defenseman flying midway through the first period.
Waived: The Sabres have placed center Cal O’Reilly on waivers. The other 29 teams have until noon Friday to claim him. If not, O’Reilly will be eligible for reassignment to Rochester. He has no goals and one assist in 11 games with the Sabres this season.
To the middle: For the first time in his career, Sabres forward Nicolas Deslauriers played center. He skated in the middle of left wing William Carrier and right wing Tyler Ennis. Deslauriers transitioned from defense to winger in the minors.
“He’s been a defenseman in the past, is comfortable down low, comfortable going back for pucks,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said.
Baby break: The Rangers called up goaltender Magnus Hellberg to serve as Lundqvist’s backup. Normal No. 2 Antti Raanta skipped the trip because his wife gave birth.
Moving up: The Rangers’ Alain Vigneault coached his 1,103rd game, passing Billy Reay for 17th place on the NHL’s all-time list.
Counting the house: The Sabres announced 18,941 tickets sold. As usual when the Blueshirts visit, vocal Rangers fans occupied plenty of seats.
Next: The Sabres will welcome a division rival at 7 p.m. Saturday as Ottawa comes to town.