Maxim Afinogenov made up for all the troubles that got him benched.

The flashy Sabres forward, who sat out Game 4 because of sloppy play, scored a power-play goal 4:39 into overtime in a come-from-behind 2-1 win over the visiting New York Rangers last night, moving Buffalo to within a win of the Eastern Conference finals.

Chris Drury forced overtime by scoring with less than 8 seconds left as the Sabres finally beat goalie Henrik Lundqvist with their 37th shot on goal.

The best-of-seven series shifts to New York for Game 6 tomorrow. Game 7 would be Tuesday in Buffalo.

Getting the puck at the right point, Afinogenov shifted into the middle and, with teammate Thomas Vanek providing a screen in front, blasted a shot that beat Lundqvist through the legs.

Martin Straka scored for the Rangers.


* Despite the Nashville Predators' third-straight exit in the first round of the playoffs, general manager David Poile picked up the option on Barry Trotz and his staff for next season. The Predators totaled 110 points and finished third in the NHL with a team-record 51 victories.

* Sharks forward Bill Guerin will not play against the Red Wings today in Game 5 of their second-round series because of a cut on his face.

* The Red Wings announced that they re-signed forward Kirk Maltby to a 3-year contract.

* Canada captain Shane Doan, of the Coyotes, scored three goals in the second period in a 6-3 win over Belarus at the hockey world championships. Russia got a goal and an assist from Ilya Kovalchuk in a 3-0 victory over Italy. *