Chances are that Ryan Callahan would have remembered his milestone 100th National Hockey League goal no matter the cirumstances surrounding it. But considering the fact his 100th was the game-deciding goal in overtime Saturday night against the Buffalo Sabres at The Garden, there's no way this one will escape Callahan's memory.
Callahan's goal---2:59 into overtime, off a great one-on-one move around Patrick Kaleta and a perfect finish past Ryan Miller---capped the Rangers comeback from a 2-1 third-period deficit. The 3-2 victory Saturday snapped the Blueshirts modest two-game winless skid and upped the team's Eastern Conference-leading point total to 84 on the season.
The goal was the 24th this season for the Blueshirts No. 24, establishing a new single-season career high for Callahan. Ryan McDonagh, who made a perfect lead pass to Callahan, earned the lone assist on the game-winning goal---Captain Cally's seventh game-winner of the season.
After Drew Stafford had scored his second goal of the game---a power play blast from right wing---44 seconds into the third period to give Buffalo a 2-1 lead---the Rangers answered right back on a gorgeous scoring play of their own.
Michael Del Zotto slipped a perfect pass to Marian Gaborik---who had gotten in behind the Sabres' defense---and Gaborik made his 700th NHL game a memorable one by roofing a backhand shot past a helpless Miller at 5:32. The goal was Gaborik's team-leading 29th of the season, and second in as many nights.
Despite outplaying the Sabres by a fairly vast margin in the first period---outshooting the visitors 14-6---the Rangers found themselves in the dressing room during the first intermission trailing 1-0. Stafford converted a Tyler EAnnis pass form behind the Blueshirts' net at 13:29 to give Bufflao the 1-0 advantage. It marked the third straight game in which the Rangers had surrendered the first goal of the match.
An outstanding individual effort by Carl Hagelin led to the tying goal in the second period. Hagelin chased down a puck behind the goal line, carried it behind the net, and then had his wraparound shot carom off Miller's stick and into the Buffalo cage at 7:38. The goal was Hagelin's 10th of the season.
Henrik Lundqvist stopped 18 shots to earn his 29th victory in the nets for the Rangers, who had been beaten in the shootout just 24 hours prior by the Islanders. The Rangers are now 2-2-1 in their last five games, and remain seven points ahead of the Bruins for the top spot in the East.