Sabres Outlast Rangers in OT

Monday, November 6th 2006, 6:10 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ Winning doesn't come easy to the Buffalo Sabres, it only looks that way. Daniel Briere scored two goals, including the winner at 3:57 of overtime to give the Sabres a come-from-behind, 4-3 victory against the New York Rangers on Sunday night.

It was the fifth time this season the Sabres (12-1-1) won after trailing by at least two goals. Buffalo needed some time to shake off its first true loss of the season. Once the Sabres did, another come-from-behind victory was soon in hand.

Briere beat goalie Kevin Weekes to the glove side on a rush to keep the Sabres from their first losing streak of the season. Buffalo failed to earn a point for the first time Saturday in a 4-1 defeat against Toronto.

``Lately we've been playing with fire too much, and (Saturday) night against Toronto we got burned,'' Briere said after the only NHL game played Sunday.

Jaromir Jagr scored a goal and had two assists to take the NHL lead with 23 points, though the Rangers captain appeared to re-injure his surgically repaired left shoulder when he landed awkwardly on his left elbow trying to stickhandle around Brian Campbell in overtime. Jagr skated to the bench and didn't return before Briere's fifth goal of the season.

After the game, he said he was fine.

The Rangers have lost three straight at home, with this defeat coming after they squandered a 3-1 lead midway through the second period.

``I haven't been a part of too many games where it's completely one-sided for half the game, and completely undecided for the other half,'' Briere said. ``Overall, at the end of the game, it's a good feeling to come back like that.''

Thomas Vanek opened the scoring at 3:18 of the first period with a left-post wraparound through Rangers defenseman Aaron Ward. The goal, Vanek's eighth, came on Buffalo's second shot of the game against Weekes, who started for the third consecutive game.

Jagr answered in the first minute of the second period with the first of three consecutive power-play goals scored by the Rangers. Jagr blasted a one-timer from the left circle against the grain and beat goalie Martin Biron to the glove side with a shot that rang off the right post.

``Jagr's shot was a beauty,'' Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. ``You're not going to defend that. ... I don't know if you can get a save on that.''

Taking advantage of a parade to the penalty box that included a full 5-on-3 advantage with Jochen Hecht and Briere whistled for hooking and tripping on the same play, the Rangers made it 2-1 on Petr Prucha's fourth goal. Jagr fired a point shot through traffic and Prucha, on the left post, swept the puck past Biron for the Rangers' first lead.

The Buffalo penalties continued to mount, and with Ales Kotalik off for slashing, Michael Nylander scored on the Rangers' third consecutive advantage for a 3-1 lead midway through the middle period. Jagr earned his second assist and third point when he found Nylander in front of the net off a curl around the net.

Buffalo took advantage of Ryan Hollweg's hooking penalty four minutes later and cut the deficit to 3-2 on Briere's hard shot from the left circle.

Weekes made the save of the game on Buffalo's next shot when he snatched Drew Stafford's shot with his glove.

Buffalo tied it 3-3 at 8:13 of the third when Jason Pominville scored his ninth goal. He crashed the net on Briere's toss in transition from the left point.

``They have a lot of skill and can hold the puck and play 1-on-1,'' Jagr said. ``Any chances we get, we need to take advantage.''