Henrik Lundqvist stopped 39 shots and Jimmy Vesey scored twice to lead the New York Rangers to a 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday night.

Neal Pionk also scored in the Rangers’ third straight win. New York rookie Brett Howden picked up his sixth assist of the season before leaving with an injury in the second period.

Lundqvist was stellar while picking up his fourth win of the season and 435th of his career, moving just two behind Jacaues Plante for seventh place on the NHL’s all-time list.

The New York Rangers celebrate after an empty net goal against the Buffalo Sabres during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, in New York. The New York Rangers won 3-1. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
The New York Rangers celebrate after an empty net goal against the Buffalo Sabres during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, in New York. The New York Rangers won 3-1. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

Connor Sheary scored for Buffalo and Carter Hutton made 19 saves.

The Rangers made the most of their first two shots in the middle period, scoring twice within 19 seconds.

New York Rangers defenseman Neal Pionk, left, and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) defend against Buffalo Sabres center Sam Reinhart (23) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
New York Rangers defenseman Neal Pionk, left, and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) defend against Buffalo Sabres center Sam Reinhart (23) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

Pionk scored 41 seconds into the period when his wrist shot sailed past Hutton. Vladislav Namestnikov and Mika Zibanejad assisted on the play. On the Rangers’ next shot, Vesey snapped off a wrist shot from the slot to make it 2-0. Howden made a nifty drop pass to set up his linemate.

Howden crashed hard into the boards later in the second before being helped off the ice with about 6 1/2 minutes remaining.. He did not return.

New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) defends against Buffalo Sabres center Sam Reinhart (23) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) defends against Buffalo Sabres center Sam Reinhart (23) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

Lundqvist appeared to be injured late in the second when Rasmus Dahlin, the first overall pick in June’s NHL draft, collided with his Swedish countrymate. However, after an extended look from the trainer, Lundqvist remained in the game.

Sheary took advantage of a turnover by Brendan Smith to pull the Sabres within one as he scored off his own rebound at 6:07 of the third.

Vesey added an empty-netter with 1:51 left.

Buffalo Sabres left wing Jeff Skinner (53) plays the puck against New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes (13) and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
Buffalo Sabres left wing Jeff Skinner (53) plays the puck against New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes (13) and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

The Rangers had allowed a tying or go-ahead goal in the final minute of their previous three games but were able to protect the lead in regulation.

Buffalo finished 0 for 4 on the power play, and New York was 0 for 1.

Buffalo Sabres center Zemgus Girgensons (28) plays the puck against New York Rangers right wing Jesper Fast (17) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, in New York. The New York Rangers won 3-1. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
Buffalo Sabres center Zemgus Girgensons (28) plays the puck against New York Rangers right wing Jesper Fast (17) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, in New York. The New York Rangers won 3-1. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

The Sabres’ top line of Jeff Skinner, Jack Eichel and Jason Pominville has been one of the best trio’s in the NHL since being put together. After combining for 38 points in the previous seven games, they were held scoreless by the Rangers.

NOTES: F Pavel Buchnevich returned to the Rangers’ lineup after being a healthy scratch for the second time this season. … F Chris Kreider skated in his 395th career NHL game. … Rangers F Ryan Spooner missed the game due to a lower-body injury. D Adam McQuaid has missed three straight games and is now considered week-to-week not day-to-day. … Buffalo scratched F Tage Thompson and F Remi Elie along with D Nathan Beaulieu.

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Carter Hutton (40) and center Jack Eichel (9) defend against New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, in New York. The New York Rangers won 3-1. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
Buffalo Sabres goaltender Carter Hutton (40) and center Jack Eichel (9) defend against New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, in New York. The New York Rangers won 3-1. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

UP NEXT

Rangers: Host Montreal on Tuesday night.

New York Rangers left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Buffalo Sabres with defenseman Brady Skjei during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
New York Rangers left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Buffalo Sabres with defenseman Brady Skjei during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

Sabres: Host Montreal on Thursday night.

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Source: The Associated Press

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