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Ryan Miller saves 43 as Sabres beat Rangers in shootout 2-1 @NHLdotcom

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Ryan Miller made 43 saves in regulation and overtime and turned aside three attempts in a shootout, and Ales Kotalik scored the lone goal in the tiebeaker in the Buffalo Sabres' 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Friday night.

Derek Roy scored in regulation for Buffalo. The Sabres (21-15-5) have won four in a row for the first time since starting the season 4-0.

Kotalik's wrister blew past Rangers backup goalie Steve Valiquette in the first round of the shootout. Miller ended the game by stopping former Buffalo star Chris Drury's attempt in the third round.

Miller, making his sixth consecutive start, was especially solid in the second period, keeping the Sabres in the game despite an 11-1 shot disadvantage in the first 14 minutes of the period.

Paul Mara scored for New York (24-15-4), which lost it second straight and third in the last four games.

Valiquette finished with 32 saves in just his eighth start of season for the Rangers, who began a five-game trip. He was particularly sharp in the third period when the Sabres peppered him with 16 shots.

The loss prevented the Rangers from climbing into a tie for first place in the Atlantic Division with idle Philadelphia.

The Sabres were bolstered by the return of centre Tim Connolly, who missed nearly two months because of a broken rib. Before that, he missed the first 10 games of the season with a broken vertebra.

Rangers defenceman Michal Rozsival, meanwhile, left with 16 minutes remaining in the third period after getting levelled by Paul Gaustad before falling face first into the edge of the boards where the door to the Sabres' bench was open.

Mara gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead with 37 seconds left in the first period. His shot from the right point appeared to go off Roy before going past Miller.

Roy tied it with his 15th with 3:23 left in the second period, banging home a rebound through Valiquette's legs after the goalie stopped Drew Stafford's shot from the right circle.

Notes: The Rangers had no penalties, while the Sabres were whistled for just two. ... Eight of Buffalo's next nine games will be on the road. ... Sabres D Toni Lydman returned after missing one game because of the flu. ... Mara has four goals this year, with two of them coming over the last three games. ... Roy extended his points streak to four games. ... Buffalo has won two of the past six games against New York.

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