Dominik Hasek came back, and so did the Buffalo Sabres.
"It was more than satisfying it was a great one for us," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said after the Sabres rallied behind their MVP goaltender to beat the New York Rangers 3-2 in overtime on Friday night.
It was Hasek's first game back after missing 12 games with a groin injury, and he looked as sharp as ever to the Rangers.
"I didn't expect to see anything different," Rangers defenseman Brian Leetch said of Hasek, who made 27 saves as he extended his personal unbeaten streak against New York to eight (6-0-2).
Hasek said his groin was "not 100 percent, but strong enough to play the game."
Ask the Rangers, particularly Manny Malhotra.
Hasek made the save of the game with 9:21 left in the second period when he stuck out a skate to deflect a close shot by Maholtra. That kept the Sabres within a goal and they rallied behind goals by Michal Grosek and Miroslav Satan to pull out a thriller at Madison Square Garden.
"It's automatic, because there is no time to think about it," Hasek said of his stunning save on Malhotra. "I just do it, and it was great that I was able to make the save."
Grosek tied it at 11:40 of the third before Satan won it at 1:18 of overtime with a terrific shot from the right circle for his second goal of the game and 33rd of the season.
Buffalo, 5-4-3 in the 12 games without their all-world goalie, moved into fifth place in the East. They have the same amount of points as Philadelphia (77), but more victories.
The Rangers failed to pick up ground in their playoff chase, remaining three points behind Boston for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Sabres extended their unbeaten streak against the Rangers to 10 games (7-0-3).
Mathieu Schneider and Petr Nedved scored for the Rangers, 6-3-2 since Wayne Gretzky was sidelined by a nec injury.
"They played better than us for the most part of the third period," said Rangers goalie Mike Richter, who made 21 saves, "We couldn't get into the flow."
Satan gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead at 10:21 of the first when he beat Richter on a breakaway. Schneider tied it with a power-play goal at 12:47, ripping a slap shot from above the right circle past Hasek.
Nedved made it 2-1 when he scored a power-play goal at 5:44 of the second on a shot from the left circle. Grosek's power-play goal, on a shot from the top of the left circle, tied it for Buffalo at 11:40 of the third.
The Rangers announced before the game that defenseman Jeff Beukeboom would sit out the rest of the season because of concussion problems. The 13-year veteran had been sidelined since early February.
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