Rangers score 4 in 1st period, rout Sabres 6-1
NEW YORK (AP) -- Derick Brassard, Chris Kreider and Rick Nash scored power-play goals 2:32 apart in the first period, and the surging New York Rangers rolled to a 6-1 victory over the slumping Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.
Dan Boyle made it 4-0 with the only even-strength goal in the opening period, and Carl Hagelin and Jesper Fast added second-period tallies for the Rangers, who won for the 10th time in 11 games by posting their best offensive effort of the season.
Brassard, Boyle, Nash and Martin St. Louis all had two points. Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves for the Rangers, who are heading to California for three games in four nights beginning Wednesday at Anaheim.
New York did its early damage against goalie Michal Neuvirth, who started for the second consecutive night following a home loss to Florida. He was pulled for Jhonas Enroth after allowing four goals on nine shots in a 12:34 span.
Drew Stafford scored in the second period for the Sabres, who have lost four straight and are 1-7-1 in their last nine. Enroth stopped 28 of 30 shots at the start of a four-game road trip.
Brassard got New York going 8:46 in when St. Louis fed a perfect pass from the top of the right circle onto Brassard's stick in the slot for a crisp deflection past Neuvirth - 14 seconds into Andrej Meszaros' tripping penalty.
The Sabres bench was immediately called for unsportsmanlike conduct, putting the Rangers right back on the power play. It took 1:07 for Kreider to make Buffalo pay.
J.T. Miller fed the puck down to Kreider inside the Sabres end, and Kreider drove the net and scored for the second straight game and for the third time in eight. Just before the goal, Cody McCormick hooked Kreider and was sent to the penalty box, giving the Rangers their third straight power play.
Just 1:25 later, Nash made it 4-0 with his 24th goal of the season. That ended the night for Neuvirth, who had sat out 15 of 18 games before Friday.
The Rangers hadn't scored three power-play goals this quickly since Nov. 21, 1995, against Pittsburgh. The last time they netted three in one period was Feb. 4, 2010, against Washington.
Hagelin pushed the lead to 5-0 at 2:26 of the second, and Stafford ended Lundqvist's shutout bid 22 seconds later.
New York even benefited from video replay on Fast's jam-shot goal with 5:00 left in the second. Play continued for 27 seconds before a horn sounded to indicate a review. It was then determined that the puck got in behind Enroth to make it 6-1.
NOTES: Rangers D Marc Staal was in the lineup despite not skating the previous two days due to the death of his grandfather. He returned to New York on Saturday morning. ... Meszaros returned to the lineup after sitting out on Friday, replacing D Tyson Strachan. ... The Sabres have allowed an NHL-worst 136 goals. ... The Rangers had scored five goals seven times this season. ... Boyle scored his first goal in 12 games. ... Sabres C Zemgus Girgensons was the leading vote-getter for the NHL All-Star game, and was one of six players named to the game Saturday.
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