Rangers blast Sabres to remain hot

New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Derick Brassard, Rick Nash and Dan Boyle each had a goal and an assist during a first-period flurry that propelled the New York Rangers to a 6-1 rout of the Buffalo Sabres.

Chris Kreider also scored during the Rangers' four-goal opening stanza, with Martin St. Louis recording a pair of assists in the Blueshirts' 10th win in their last 11 games.

Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves for New York, which also received goals from Carl Hagelin and Jesper Fast.

Michael Neuvirth stopped just 5-of-9 shots for Buffalo before being lifted after less than 13 minutes. Jhonas Enroth had 28 saves on 30 chances in relief.

Drew Stafford tallied Buffalo's lone goal in the loss, the Sabres' fourth straight and eighth in their last nine outings.

All four of New York's early goals came within a stretch of under four minutes, with Brassard beginning the barrage by redirecting in St. Louis' shot from the point on a power play 8:46 in.

Kreider made it 2-0 just over a minute later with a successful backhander on another 5-on-4 chance, and a penalty to Buffalo's Cody McCormick led to Nash beating Neuvirth from in close off a St. Louis give with 8:42 still to go in the opening period.

"We didn't really know what to expect from that team, but we were trying to get our power play going at home," Brassard said. "If teams get some penalties, we have to use our power play as a weapon, and that's what we did."

Nash set up the Rangers' fourth goal of the frame, feeding Boyle for a well- placed drive from the left circle 7:26 prior to the intermission.

"We were probably out of it before it even started," said Sabres head coach Ted Nolan. "I thought the first five-to-six minutes we had some good energy with a better start than last night. Then all of a sudden, a bad penalty. They get one. Then all of a sudden, they get another one and another one, and then the game is over."

New York kept up the onslaught during the early stages of the second period, with Hagelin's wrister deflecting off the Sabres' Mike Weber and past Enroth for a 5-0 lead with 2:26 elapsed in the stanza.

Buffalo answered a mere 22 seconds afterward, as Stafford skated in from behind the Rangers' net to tap in a loose puck he sent towards the net.

The Sabres couldn't maintain the momentum, however, and fell behind by a 6-1 count when Fast knocked in a backhand pass from Kevin Hayes in the 35th minute that was called good following a review.

Neither team lit the lamp during an uneventful third period in which the Sabres managed just six shots.

Game Notes

New York finished 3-of-4 on the power play ... Buffalo forward Zemgus Girgensons was named one of the first six selections for the upcoming All-Star Game, with the young Latvian winning the fan balloting with 1,574,896 votes ... The Rangers have allowed two or fewer goals in nine of their last 10 games, while Buffalo has scored two or fewer six times during its current 1-7-1 stretch ... New York has now won five straight against the Sabres, its longest streak in the series since a five-game stretch spanning the 1994-95 and 95-96 seasons.