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Rangers blow early lead in loss to Sabres

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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo captain Jack Eichel’s first goal of the season gave him some relief and provided a lift for the Sabres.

Eichel, Dylan Cozens and Tobias Rieder scored for Buffalo, which rallied for a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers on Tuesday night.

Chris Kreider and K’Andre Miller scored first-period goals for the Rangers.

Eichel’s power-play goal snapped a 2-all tie and gave Buffalo the lead at 7:31 of the second period. He buried a shot from the slot off a pass from below the goal line by Victor Olofsson. Eichel raised both his arms and his head to the sky before pounding the glass in celebration. The goal was his first since March 9, 2020, Buffalo’s final game of the 2019-2020 season.

Buffalo’s win came after the Sabres faced a 2-1 deficit after the first period.

Kreider gave New York a 1-0 lead 6:48 into the game with a shot past Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark off a pass from Pavel Buchnevich. Buchnevich took advantage of a turnover by defenseman Colin Miller.

Jack Eichel (not pictured) scores the game-winning goal on Alexandar Georgiev during the Rangers' 3-2 loss to the Sabres.
Jack Eichel (not pictured) scores the game-winning goal on Alexandar Georgiev during the Rangers’ 3-2 loss to the Sabres.
NHLI via Getty Images

Cozens’ power-play goal at 12:50 of the second tied it. His slot shot whistled off the post and past Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev, who finished with 22 saves.

Miller gave New York a 2-1 lead with seven seconds left the first period when he ripped a slap shot past Ullmark. Miller, playing in his sixth career game, spent his previous two seasons at the University of Wisconsin.

Rieder’s second goal of the season at 6:03 of the second period came two seconds after the Sabres killed off a minor for too many men on the ice. Rieder received a pass from defenseman Matt Irwin and streaked up the right wing before he crossed in front of a fully extended Georgiev and beat him to the far post. Irwin’s assist came in his first game with the Sabres after he signed as a free agent in the offseason.

After Eichel made it 3-2, the Sabres hunkered down in the third as the Rangers built a 15-2 edge in shots and spent the final 1:37 killing a 6-on-4 Rangers power play with Georgiev pulled for an extra skater following a boarding minor against forward Taylor Hall. Ullmark finished with 28 saves.

The Rangers and Sabres faced each other as divisional opponents for the first time since March 24, 1974, when both were part of the East Division.

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