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The Wraparound: Sabres 3, Rangers 1

Two goals from Conor Sheary, 43 saves from Carter Hutton.

There's all you really need to know about the Buffalo Sabres' first victory of the season, a 3-1 nailbiter over the New York Rangers Saturday night before 16,824 in KeyBank Center.

Sheary, a former 23-goal scorer with the Pittsburgh Penguins, scored his first two goals with the Sabres and both came on the power play in an eight-minute span stretching over the first and second periods. Thanks to Jack Eichel's empty-net goal with 1.8 seconds left, the Sabres made them stand up to even their record at 1-1.

Hutton, the newly anointed No. 1 goaltender signed as a free agent in the offseason from the St. Louis Blues, kept the Sabres afloat early as the Rangers had nine of the game's first 11 shots on goal and 12 of the first 15.

Hutton also put up a save-of-the-season candidate in the first week of October by snuffing out a 3-on-0 break in the second period. He then made 19 of his saves in the third period as the Rangers finished with a 44-29 advantage in shots on goal.

Rare early success: The victory allowed the Sabres to avoid losing their first two games for the fifth time in six years. They also escaped the indignity of dropping the first two at home for the eighth consecutive season.

Breaking the ice: Sheary snapped Buffalo's season-opening goal-less streak at 73 minutes, 15 seconds with his tally at 13:15 of the first. It came on a wicked wrist shot as he converted a 2-on-1, taking a pass from Rasmus Ristolainen. The play was started with a backhand pass from the boards in the neutral zone by Casey Mittelstadt.

Nice break: The goal was scored even though the Sabres clearly had six men on the ice a few seconds before the puck entered the net. While Mittelstadt and Evan Rodrigues were working on the wall with the puck, replays clearly showed four other blue jerseys on the ice and no one in the vicinity of the Buffalo bench. Sheary was in the center-ice circle buzzing toward the goal while the player he was replacing was still visible on the screen and nowhere near the bench.

Tic-Tac-Sheary: the Sabres pushed the lead to 2-0 at 1:42 of the second period on Sheary's second goal. Jack Eichel briefly lost the puck, then outmuscled the Rangers to get it back and found Reinhart on a diagonal pass to the left of goalie Henrik Lundqvist. Reinhart quickly moved the puck across the crease and Sheary had a tap-in.

On the scoresheet: The Sabres got shut out, 4-0, in Thursday's opener against Boston so assists by Ristolainen, Mittelstadt, Reinhart and Eichel were the first points of the season for four players expected to be key contributors to the Buffalo offense.

Triple trouble: Hutton got a standing ovation from large segments of the crowd late in the second period when he robbed Brett Howden on a 3-on-0 after a Tage Thompson turnover sent the Rangers away.

 

No shutout: Hutton lost the shutout with 4:39 left when Howden jammed in a rebound from the edge of the crease under a prone Hutton. It came on the Rangers' 41st shot on goal of the night.

Dahlin's quest: No. 1 overall pick Rasmus Dahlin had two close calls for his first NHL goal, hitting the outside of the post on a shot from the faceoff circle in the second period and then being stopped in alone by Lundqvist early in the third period. Thompson batted Dahlin's rebound out of mid-air into the net but the apparent goal was wiped out on a high-sticking decision that appeared to be the right call.

Long time, no see: The Rangers had not played in Buffalo in more than 20 months — since posting a 2-1 overtime win here on Feb. 2, 2017. Last year, they became the first team not to visit every NHL city in a season since the schedule format was changed in 2013 because their lone scheduled "road" game in Buffalo was actually played in New York at Citi Field for the Winter Classic.

Up Next: The Sabres return to practice on Sunday and play a Columbus Day matinee against the Vegas Golden Knights here Monday afternoon at 3. Vegas opened a five-game road trip Saturday night in Minnesota.

Sabres Notebook: College reunion for Jack Eichel, Rodrigues against Rangers' David Quinn

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