Sabres keep playoff hopes alive by beating Rangers in shootout

Casey Mittelstadt scored the game-tying goal and the deciding goal in the shootout to lift the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-2 win over the host New York Rangers on Monday.

Mittelstadt tied it 2-2 at 8:13 of the third period, converting on a rebound on the doorstep.

After each team failed to convert on its first three tries in the shootout, Owen Power scored for Buffalo and Vladimir Tarasenko responded for New York. Mittelstadt scored backhand to put the Sabres back in front, and Kaapo Kakko missed wide on the Rangers’ last chance.

JJ Peterka scored and Devon Levi made 26 saves for the Sabres (40-32-7, 87 points), who moved to within four points of the final wild card in the Eastern Conference with three games remaining.

Artemi Panarin scored twice for the Rangers (47-21-13, 107 points), who remain a point behind the New Jersey Devils for second place in the Metropolitan Division. Igor Shesterkin made 37 saves.

Buffalo dominated the opening period, outshooting New York 14-4, including an 8-1 shot advantage eight and a half minutes in.

Shesterkin held the fort, denying Tage Thompson on a one-timer from above the right circle off a drop pass from Dylan Cozens and getting in front of another one-timer a minute later, this time from Peyton Krebs in the left circle.

Peterka gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead at 14:24 of the first period. Jack Quinn collected Peterka’s pass attempt in the left circle before going to the goal line and feeding a backhand to his fellow rookie, who had moved to the front of the net, for a tap-in.

Panarin tied 1-1 on the power play at 1:01 of the second period. Mika Zibanejad dished a cross-ice pass over to Panarin at the left faceoff dot, beating Levi short side.

Panarin then put the Rangers in front 2-1 at 11:12, when he was left uncovered in the left circle to finish off a pass from Tarasenko with a one-timer.

Levi stood tall late in the frame as New York looked to add to their lead. He stopped Vincent Trocheck’s wrist shot off a 2-on-1 with four minutes left and soon after denied Kakko on the doorstep, then defenseman Niko Mikkola streaking into the slot.