Ryan Strome of the Rangers during game against the Buffalo Sabres...

Ryan Strome of the Rangers during game against the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden on Sun. March 27, 2022. Credit: Errol Anderson

The Rangers lost second-line center Ryan Strome to a lower-body issue Sunday, but Rangers coach Gerard Gallant downplayed the injury after the game.

“I don’t see anything serious,’’ he said after the Rangers’ 5-4 overtime victory over the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden.

After losing Strome for the final two periods, Gallant moved newcomer Andrew Copp from right wing to center on a line with Artemi Panarin on the left and newcomer Tyler Motte on the right.

But after spending much of the second period moving people around to try to get the remaining 11 forwards playing time, Gallant shortened his bench and cut down to three forward lines. He moved Copp back to right wing, inserted Barclay Goodrow at center between Copp and Panarin, and moved Motte onto the right wing of the third line with Filip Chytil and Alexis Lafreniere.

Those two lines, and the No. 1 line of Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad and Frank Vatrano, got the bulk of the ice time in the final 30 minutes.

Blue notes

Gallant used the same lineup he used Friday against Pittsburgh, meaning forwards Julien Gauthier, Ryan Reaves and Greg McKegg and defensemen Libor Hajek and Justin Braun were the healthy scratches . . . Alexandar Georgiev allowed four goals on 17 shots but got the win to improve to 10-9-2 . . . Lafreniere’s goal at 11:46 of the second period, which tied the score at 3-3, extended his point-scoring streak to a career-high six games . . . Gallant was asked why he likes Vatrano, who was a fourth-line player in Florida, on the first line with Kreider and Zibanejad. “Why not?” he said. “It’s been fine. It’s been good. I mean, they’re scoring every game. Last game [against Pittsburgh] they got a couple goals, tonight they get a couple goals. So I like what we’re seeing.’’

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