Neal Pionk and Jimmy Vesey scored goals 19 seconds apart early in the second period and goalie Henrik Lundqvist frustrated Buffalo with 39 saves as the New York Rangers beat the Sabres, 3-1, Sunday night in Madison Square Garden.
The Sabres outshot the Rangers in the game, 40-22, including 15-5 in the first period. But they were stymied time after time by Lundqvist, a little more than 24 hours after pouring in nine goals against Ottawa in their biggest offensive output in more than 10 years.
Buffalo finally got a goal from Conor Sheary at 6:07 of the third period, his fifth of the season and third in two games against the Rangers this season. But the Sabres couldn't get the equalizer as Vesey hit the empty net with 1:51 left for his second of the game.
Quick strikes: The Sabres got the first two shots on goal of the second period to push the count to 17-5 but the Rangers got the next two and both found the net.
Pionk scored at 41 seconds, shooting from the left circle through a Jake McCabe screen to beat Carter Hutton. It was Pionk's first goal of the season and second in the NHL in 40 career games.
Vesey scored his fourth of the season at exactly one minute, finding open ice through the right circle and beating Hutton with a quick snapshot.
— NHL (@NHL) November 5, 2018
Close call for a third goal: The Rangers nearly made it 3-0 early in the second on a Mika Zibanejad breakaway but his shot hit the post and bounced into the crease. But Vladislav Namestnikov skated by the puck without touching it, thinking it had already entered the net, and Rasmus Ristolainen swept it out of danger.
The King: Lundqvist won his 435th career game, moving him two away from tying Jacques Plante for seventh place on the NHL's all-time list at 437. He is 21-13-2 against the Sabres in his career.
No PP success: The Sabres were 0 for 4 on the power play in the game despite 14 shots on goal. They are 2 for 35 this season in the eight games they have lost.
No comebacks: The Sabres fell to 0-6-1 when trailing after two periods. They are 7-0-1 when leading or tied after two.
No Corsi calamaties: The Sabres had 25 of the 34 shot attempts in the game in the first period and the count was 54-27 through two. It ended in their favor, 72-43.
Dahlin answers the bell: Rasmus Dahlin left Saturday's game in the second period after taking a shot to the foot but was able to be ready for this one. The No. 1 overall pick took a regular shift on defense alongside Casey Nelson.
In the nets: The result left Lundqvist and Hutton both with 4-6-1 records this season. Hutton had entered the game 4-0 in his career against the Rangers with a 1.35 goals-against average and .960 save percentage.
No changes necessary: Coach Phil Housley wasn't touching a lineup that just scored nine goals. The Sabres had the same group on the ice, which meant the healthy scratches were again forwards Tage Thompson and Remi Elie and defenseman Nathan Beaulieu.
Up Next: The Sabres will take Monday off and return to practice Tuesday in HarborCenter. The next game is Thursday at Montreal, with the next home game Saturday's matinee against surprising Pacific Division leader Vancouver.