After falling behind by three goals Saturday night, the Rangers battled back to within one midway through the third period and were poised to tie it with a five-on-three power play for two minutes, but they came up short.
“It was an outstanding kill,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said after his team’s 4-3 victory.
The Rangers had only three shots against Chad Johnson during the five-on- three. Derek Stepan said he thought the Rangers “were a little spread out, which caused the long shots.”
One-time Rangers backup Johnson, who made 33 saves, explained the Sabres’ recent 4-1-1 run: “We are doing everything we can, we’re trying to be spoilers. We had a tough start to the season and we are really just getting it now.”
Calder Trophy candidate Jack Eichel, a 19-year-old center who was the second pick in the 2015 draft, had his fourth assist in three games against the Rangers this season, coming down the left side and feeding Ryan O’Reilly in the first period.
“Eichs made an unbelievable play to me back door and I had the whole net,” O’Reilly said. “That was a pretty special play by him.”
Henrik Lundqvist agreed. “On the second goal, he made a good move,’’ he said. “He made me go to the right and passed to the left and it was a wide-open net.”
Although coach Alain Vigneault said he believed that Rick Nash was back on track in recent games after missing 20 with a left leg injury, the winger was held off the scoresheet . . . Dylan McIlrath and Oscar Lindberg again were healthy scratches . . . Vigneault remains tied with Roger Neilson for sixth place all-time among Rangers coaches with 141 wins.