A gutsy rally maintained Buffalo's playoff push as the Sabres twice overcame daunting deficits to outlast the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-5 in overtime on Tuesday and move level on points with eighth-placed Washington.

Buffalo and the Capitals have 88 points in the Eastern Conference, though Washington own the tie-breaker in the race for the final playoff spot because they have more non-shootout wins. Both have two games remaining.

The Sabres trailed 3-0 after the first period on Tuesday and were down 5-3 with less than six minutes to go but fought back bravely.

Alexander Sulzer netted a goal, his second of the game, and Jordan Leopold tied the contest with less than two minutes remaining in regulation.

Derek Roy then delivered the game-winner at 3:29 in overtime, also his second score of the night, and the home team celebrated their biggest victory of the season.

The battle for the Western Conference's final post-season spot heated up as San Jose beat Dallas 5-2 to move three points in front of the ninth-place Stars.

With the season winding down, the New York Rangers put the finishing touches on their top seed in the East with a 5-3 triumph over the Philadelphia Flyers.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles. Editing by Patrick Johnston)