The New York Rangers are playing some of their best hockey this season, but a win over the Eastern Conference's best team could be a huge confidence boost.
The Rangers go for their season-high fourth win in a row while trying to hand the Buffalo Sabres only their second road loss Sunday when the teams square off at Madison Square Garden.
New York (13-9-1) hasn't won four in a row since a season-high, seven-game winning streak last season from Feb. 1-March 2.
The Rangers followed that with a six-game slide, and ended the regular season with five consecutive losses before being swept in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals by the New Jersey Devils.
Buffalo (18-3-2) set an NHL record by winning its first 10 games road games in 2006-07 before losing Nov. 18 at Ottawa. Since then, the Sabres have won two of three at home, scoring seven goals in each win.
The Sabres have outscored their downstate rivals 11-7 while winning both matchups this season. Buffalo also has won four of its last five at MSG, including a 4-3 overtime victory Nov. 5.
New York returns home after three former Penguins had a hand in a 2-1 overtime win Saturday at Pittsburgh. Jaromir Jagr tied the game with less than 8 minutes to play in regulation, and drew an assist on Martin Straka's game-winner with 2.2 seconds left in the extra session.
"Rozy (former Penguins defenseman Michal Rozsival) made a great pass," Straka said. "Everybody thought he was going to shoot, and nobody thought he was going to give it to me.
"But he put it right on my tape. It was an easy goal for me. I just had to put my stick on the ice."
Jagr has four goals and three assists in his last three games overall, but he has been nearly unstoppable at home. The six-time Art Ross Trophy winner has six goals and five assists during a five-game points streak at MSG and has been held off the scoresheet just once in 10 home games this season.
Despite Jagr's stellar play at home, the Rangers are only 5-4-1 there.
This season, Jagr has a goal and four assists in two games versus the Sabres.
Buffalo, though, may have an answer for Jagr. Daniel Briere, the Sabres' leading scorer with 30 points this season, has had three straight three-point games against New York since last season, totaling four goals and five assists.
Briere scored the game-winner in overtime earlier this month against the Rangers in New York.
Buffalo lost for the first time in four overtime games this season after falling 2-1 to the Montreal Canadiens on Friday. The Sabres are 7-2 in games that have been decided in either overtime or a shootout this season, including a 5-0 mark on the road.
Jaroslav Spacek's second-period goal gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead, but goaltender Ryan Miller gave up the tying goal to Saku Koivu with 11:39 left in regulation.
The Sabres lost when Miller surrendered defenseman Sheldon Souray's goal wrist shot from the left circle with one second to play in overtime.
Knowing how little time was left, Miller said he expected the shot to come from Alexei Kovalev.
"It wasn't a case of 'Please, let the buzzer go.' I was focusing on Kovalev," said Miller, who stopped 28 shots, including 11 in the third period. "He hit the trailer and (Souray) took a pretty good shot to get it up."
Miller has allowed eight goals in his last two road games after giving up five in his first four away from HSBC Arena. He's 3-0-1 with a 2.46 goals-against average in four career starts against the Rangers, with the lone loss coming in New York on March 27.