Skapski blanks Sabres as Rangers keep rolling

Buffalo, NY ( - MacKenzie Skapski turned in a shutout in his second career NHL start, stopping all 20 shots he faced in the New York Rangers' 2-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.

The 20-year-old rookie turned aside 24-of-25 chances to win his NHL debut in New York's 3-1 road triumph over the Sabres on Feb. 20, then sat nine straight games as Cam Talbot went 7-1-1 as the main replacement for the injured Henrik Lundqvist.

"I don't think you could script it any better," Skapski said. "Our defense and our forwards were excellent as always. We have a very underrated offensive- defensive team. That's what makes us the best team in the NHL right now."

Keith Yandle's goal -- his first with the Rangers since coming over from Arizona in a trade-deadline deal -- snapped a scoreless deadlock 7:31 into the third period, and Martin St. Louis tacked on an empty-netter late to help red- hot New York win its fourth straight and improve to 13-1-2 since Feb. 10.

Anders Lindback saved 31-of-32 shots in a hard-luck loss, the lowly Sabres' sixth in a row.

"I think (Lindback) played a great game in net, made some great saves," said Sabres forward Tyler Ennis. "The penalty kill was good. We played solid tonight. I think if our power play could've gotten one, it would've been a different story."

Though Skapski wasn't overly busy, the lightly tested youngster was quite sharp off the layoff. He stoned Ennis on a breakaway just over six minutes in and kept the contest scoreless late in the second with a diving glove save against Brian Gionta on a 2-on-1 rush.

Lindback was on his game as well, coming up with 18 saves through the first two periods before the Rangers finally broke through in the third.

After taking in a pass from St. Louis while stationed at the point, Yandle fired a wrister that made its way through heavy traffic and past Lindback to end the stalemate.

The Sabres pulled Lindback with around a minute left, but Markus Foligno had the puck taken away from him by St. Louis near center ice. The veteran forward promptly flicked it into the vacated net from the blue line to seal the outcome with 32.7 seconds remaining.

Game Notes

The win was New York's seventh straight over the Sabres, who have been outscored by an 11-2 margin in three defeats to New York this season ... The Rangers played their first game without injured defenseman Kevin Klein, expected to miss 3-to-4 weeks after being struck in the left wrist by an Alex Ovechkin shot in Wednesday's game against Washington ... Talbot is slated to be back in net when the Rangers finish off a back-to-back Sunday against Florida ... The Sabres were shut out for the 11th time this season.