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Stafford scores twice as Sabres take down Rangers

Mar 24, 2012 - 3:52 AM
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Drew Stafford had two goals and an assist, helping the Buffalo Sabres beat the Eastern Conference-leading New York Rangers, 4-1.

Tyler Ennis added a goal and two assists for the Sabres, who have won three straight and boasts a 5-0-2 record in their last seven trips to the ice. Travis Turnbull recorded his first NHL goal.

Ryan Miller made 26 saves for Buffalo, which is tied with Washington for eighth in the East. The Capitals lost to the Jets in overtime on Friday.

"We're not worried about the other teams around us," Stafford said. "We know if we play well, take care of our business and win the games, we'll be sitting just fine."

Brian Boyle scored the lone goal of the game for the Rangers, who lead the Atlantic Division by one point over idle Pittsburgh.

Henrik Lundqvist turned aside 22-of-26 shots for New York, which lost forward Mats Zuccarello to a fractured wrist in the first period.

The Sabres broke a scoreless tie 3:14 into the middle stanza. Turnbull was credited with first career goal as his centering pass from behind the goal line deflected off New York forward John Mitchell's skate and past Lundqvist.

Boyle tied the game for New York at the 9:32 mark. Artem Anisimov gathered the puck behind the net and fed a pass in front for Boyle, who chipped the disc past Miller.

Stafford put Buffalo back on top with 6:17 to go. After the Rangers turned the puck over in the offensive zone, Ennis led a 3-on-1 rush down the left wing. Ennis slid a cross-ice pass to Stafford, whose snap shot found the back of the net.

"We had some chances," Rangers head coach John Tortorella said. "(Buffalo's) second goal really killed us, it really hurt us, because (Ryan) Miller is playing so well. We gave that one up when we had full control of the puck and really maybe a chance to score another goal ourselves."

Ennis lit the lamp with six minutes remaining in the third to make it 3-1 and Stafford scored 2:09 later to put the game out of reach.

Game Notes

New York took three of four from Buffalo this season...Zuccarello will be sidelined indefinitely...The Rangers went 4-3-0 on a seven-game homestand. They will start a three-game road trip in Toronto on Saturday...Rangers defenseman Steve Eminger sat out his fourth straight game with an undisclosed injury...Buffalo forwards Nathan Gerbe and Patrick Kaleta missed the game with upper-body injuries...The Sabres host the Wild on Saturday...Turnbull was playing in his second NHL game.