NEW YORK (AP) - Rick Nash scored the winning goal with 1:42 left, on New York's third shot of the third period, and the Rangers clinched home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a 2-1 victory over the NHL-worst Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.
New York secured second place in the Metropolitan Division when the Philadelphia Flyers lost at Tampa Bay later Thursday. The Rangers will face either the Flyers or Columbus in the playoffs.
The Rangers struggled throughout against the lowly Sabres and goalie Matt Hackett, who played in just his seventh NHL game of the season.
Drew Stafford gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead in the second, and Benoit Pouliot tied in in the final minute of the frame.