Led by 37 saves from Carter Hutton, the Buffalo Sabres held off the New York Rangers in a 3-2 victory at Madison Square Garden on Friday.
Zemgus Girgensons, Sam Reinhart and Jimmy Vesey scored for Buffalo to give them a three-goal lead before the Rangers made things interesting right at the end of regulation.
After Mika Zibanejad broke the shutout with 2:53 remaining in the third period, Chris Kreider scored on a 6-on-4 power play with 1:38 left. Buffalo was able to play sound defensively from there on out to earn the two points.
Reinhart's tally gave him 20 goals in 55 games this season. Reinhart's previous quickest season to the 20-goal mark was 2015-16, when he scored his 20th goal in his 69th game of the season. In his fifth full season, he has hit the 20-goal plateau four times (his career high is 25, set in 2017-18).
Girgensons' goal was his 10th of the season and Vesey now has goals in back-to-back games.
Girgensons made it 1-0 with his goal on Alexandar Georgiev with 9:34 remaining in the first period. Defenseman Colin Miller skated the puck in over the blue line and got the puck to Girgensons, who was able to cut in and score.
Reinhart roofed a backhand shot on a breakaway with 4:44 left in the second to make it 2-0.
Vesey scored against his former club with 8:04 left in regulation to make it 3-0. Vesey accepted a long stretch pass at the offensive blue line from Jack Eichel, who was standing at the top of his defensive faceoff circle. Vesey was then able to break in over the line, split the defense and score.
The Rangers then scored 1:15 apart in the dying minutes to make it a close game.
What it means
The Sabres are now 24-23-8 this season and 9-14-4 on the road.
Hutton had allowed five goals on 13 shots in his last appearance, which came on Tuesday against Colorado. In his two starts before that, he had stopped 49 of the 52 shots he faced (.942), making Friday's start a great bounce-back effort.
He is now 5-2-0 in his career against New York.
Rasmus Dahlin returned to the lineup after missing the past two games with an upper-body injury. He skated 15:18 with two shots on net.
Roll the highlight film
Here's Vesey's slick goal:
Video: BUF@NYR: Vesey backhands puck past Georgiev
Buffalo will return to practice Saturday afternoon. Stay tuned to Sabres.com for full coverage.
Then the Sabres will host the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday at KeyBank Center. It's a 3 p.m. faceoff with the pregame show on MSG starting at 2:30. Check out a special Kids Day offer here.