BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- J.P. Dumont shook his head in delight,
describing his opportunistic goal that helped spark the Buffalo
The New York Rangers were shaking their heads, too -- wondering
what's happened to their high-priced offense.
Dumont's first-period power-play goal that banked in off New
York defenseman Tom Poti's skate helped lift the Sabres to a 3-1
victory over the Rangers on Saturday night.
The goal was another example of the fortunate bounces the Sabres
are getting in winning their season-high fourth straight game and
fifth in their last six.
"Sometimes lucky goals are important and tonight it was," said
Dumont, who was attempting to thread a pass through the crease from
a bad angle. "It just gave us momentum, and after that everybody
just played with confidence."
Maxim Afinogenov also scored a power-play goal and Miroslav
Satan added an empty-netter, allowing the Sabres to complete a
two-game sweep of the Rangers, after Friday night's 3-1 win in New
York. Martin Biron stopped 31 shots to win his fifth straight
start, a stretch in which he's allowed just seven goals.
Joel Bouchard scored for the slumping Rangers, who have lost
three straight, seven of their last eight.
"Slowly but surely, we've dug ourselves a big hole," Rangers
forward Bobby Holik said. "We could've put ourselves in a good
position to win this game like they did."
And this is not what was expected from a New York team that
recently acquired Jaromir Jagr, and his hefty contract, in a deal
Jagr has managed just a goal and two assists -- all in a 5-2 win
over Florida on Monday night -- in five games since joining the
"I'm frustrated that I couldn't help the team and score
goals," said Jagr, who had four shots on goal against the Sabres.
"I love this team and I want us to succeed. ... We need to get
Saturday's game turned in the opening 10 minutes when the
Rangers managed just one shot during a two-man advantage over an
The Sabres, in comparison, capitalized on a two-minute, two-man
advantage of their own when Dumont opened the scoring eight minutes
into the game.
Afinogenov scored seven minutes later pouncing on a loose puck
in the right circle and, with two Rangers defenders watching,
snapping a shot inside the far post.
Bouchard capped a four-on-one rush to cut the Sabres lead to 2-1
seven minutes into the second period. But the Rangers were unable
to pull even despite out-shooting the Sabres 32-29.
Jagr had New York's best chance with 12:35 remaining, set up for
a one-timer by Brian Leetch's feed from behind the Buffalo net. But
Biron came up big, sliding across to get a piece of Jagr's shot.
The Rangers finished 0-for-5 in power-play opportunities, and
are now 0-for-16 in their last five games.
The Sabres have scored two power-play goals in each of their
last three games.
Rangers prospect Benoit Dusablon will have to wait for
another time to make his NHL debut. Fearing C Jamie Lundmark
(illness) would be too sick to play, the Rangers had Dusablon fly
in from Norfolk, Va., where New York's Hartford affiliate was to
play. Lundmark, however, was cleared to play and Dusablon, who had
spent more than 12 hours traveling to Buffalo, watched the game
from the press box.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: First Niagara Center Location: Buffalo, New York
Referees: Mike Hasenfratz, Marc Joannette Linesmen: Scott Driscoll, Derek Nansen
Attendance: 18,690 (100.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
J.P. Dumont (14)
(Power Play) Assists: Dennis Wideman, Dennis Wideman
Maxim Afinogenov (10)
(Power Play) Assists: Daniel Briere, Miroslav Satan
Joel Bouchard (1)
Assists: Bobby Holik, Jed Ortmeyer
Miroslav Satan (17)
(Empty Net) Assists: Ales Kotalik, Dennis Wideman