Vesey, Hutton help Sabres hold on to beat Rangers, 3-2

The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Jimmy Vesey had a goal and an assist against his former team, Carter Hutton stopped 37 shots, and the Buffalo Sabres held on to beat the New York Rangers 3-2 Friday night.

Zemgus Girgensons and Sam Reinhart also scored to help Buffalo get just its second win in seven games.

Hutton had six saves in the first period, 10 in the second and 21 in the third when the Rangers tried to rally from a 3-0 deficit.

Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider scored for the Rangers, and Alexandar Georgiev finished with 25 saves.

Vesey, who played three seasons for the Rangers before his trade to the Sabres last July, pushed Buffalo’s lead to 3-0 with 8:04 left in the third for his eighth.

Zibanejad ruined Hutton’s shutout bid with his 22nd goal with 2:53 remaining. Artemi Panarin and Marc Staal had assists on the play.

Kreider then pulled the Rangers within one with his 20th of the season on the power play with 1:38 left. Kreider has goals in eight of the past 11 games.

That was as close as the Rangers got.

The inconsistent Rangers were coming off a 5-3 home win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday, two nights after they were smothered at the Garden by the Dallas Stars by the same 5-3 margin.

The Sabres had lost at home, 4-3 in a shootout to the league-worst Detroit Red Wings, on Thursday.

Georgiev’s was making his first start since Jan. 21, a 4-2 loss at home to the Islanders. The Rangers have been carrying three goaltenders on their roster since Igor Shesterkin was recalled from Hartford on Jan. 7. Shesterkin is 4-1 since his ascension while Henrik Lundqvist has dressed as a backup to Georgiev or Shesterkin on most nights over the past month.

Georgiev had won two of his last three starts – both against the Islanders. He fell to 12-11-1 on the season. Lundqvist has a 10-11-3 mark.

The Sabres had lost three straight against the Rangers while being outscored 15-5. New York had won seven of the last 10 meetings at home.

Maple Leafs 5, Ducks 4

TORONTO — John Tavares scored his second goal of the game at 4:53 of overtime, lifting Toronto over the Anaheim Ducks.

Auston Matthews got his 40th goal of the season to tie Alex Ovechkin for the NHL lead and had three assists, while Jason Spezza and Andreas Johnsson also scored for Toronto. Mitch Marner also had three assists and Tavares had one.

Jack Campbell made 26 saves in his first start for the Maple Leafs, two nights after being acquired from Los Angeles.

Adam Henrique had a goal and an assist, and Nicolas Deslauriers, Max Jones and Derek Grant also scored for Anaheim. Ryan Miller finished with 30 saves for the Ducks, who were playing for the third time in four nights.

Blue Jackets 2, Red Wings 0

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Elvis Merzlikins got a fifth shutout in his last eight starts and Columbus extended its points streak to 10 games with a win over Detroit.

Zach Werenski’s second-period goal, his 17th of the season, broke a franchise season scoring record for defensemen for the Blue Jackets, who have won three straight and nine of 10.

By Paul Wager

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