Rangers visit Sabres to wrap up road trip

(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Rangers attempt to conclude a five-game road trip with a fourth victory in a row on Saturday night when they visit the lowly Buffalo Sabres.

The Rangers opened their swing with an overtime loss in Detroit, but have since beaten Chicago, the New York Islanders and Washington to improve to 12-1-2 in their past 15 games overall.

New York followed up a big win on Long Island with a 3-1 triumph over the Capitals on Wednesday. Cam Talbot made 28 saves in his ninth straight start, while Martin St. Louis, Carl Hagelin and J.T. Miller had goals.

"I think we're getting some great plays from different lines at good times, and that's how you keep winning games," said St. Louis. "It's never the same guys. I think that's the reason why we've got some consistent success."

Kevin Hayes added a pair of assists as the Rangers moved a point ahead of the Islanders for first place in the Metropolitan Division. They maintained that top spot when the Isles lost to the Ottawa Senators on Friday night and the Blueshirts have four games in hand over their foes from Long Island.

New York, though, did lose defenseman Kevin Klein for the next 3-to-4 weeks with an injury to his left arm suffered when he was hit in the final seconds by a shot from Washington's Alex Ovechkin.

The 30-year-old was in the midst of a career season, his 10th in the NHL and first full one with the Rangers. Through 65 games, Klein has recorded personal bests of nine goals and 26 points, while his plus-24 rating is tied for tops on the team.

The Rangers, who return home to host the Florida Panthers on Sunday, shoot for a three-game season series sweep of the Sabres tonight and have outscored them 24-8 over a six-game win streak.

New York has won three in a row and five of its past six in Buffalo, including a 3-1 win on Feb. 20 that saw Mackenzie Skapski make 24 saves to win his NHL debut despite giving up a goal to Matt Moulson just 14 seconds in.

Rick Nash, Mats Zuccarello and Hagelin all scored for New York.

Skapski is expected to start tonight.

The Sabres, last in the NHL with 44 points, are set to play two in a row and three of their next four at home after capping off an 0-4-1 road trip with Wednesday's 4-3 shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Buffalo line of Moulson, Tyler Ennis and Johan Larsson combined for nine points, with each skater notching a goal and two assists.

"I thought we had some jump and some good chemistry tonight," Moulson said. "Larsson and Ennis made some great plays out there. Our jump out there helped us create turnovers and some offense."

However, the Sabres failed to hold a 3-2 lead as Anders Lindback made 31 saves in defeat.

Lindback is 0-2-0 with a 3.25 goals against average and .886 save percentage in three games (2 starts) lifetime versus the Rangers.