The National Hockey League's best team of the regular season - the Buffalo Sabres - have advanced to the third playoff round after eliminating the host New York Rangers.

The Sabres beat the Rangers 5-4 Sunday to win their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series four games to two.

Buffalo exploded with four goals in 10 minutes in the second period to erase a one-goal deficit. Two of those came off the sticks of Jochen Hecht and co-captain Chris Drury, who scored three-and-a-half minutes apart to give the Sabres the lead.

The Rangers twice pulled to within a goal of tying the score with third period with tallies by Jaromir Jagr and Michael Nylander. But in the end, New York fell short.

Buffalo next takes on the Ottawa Senators for the Eastern Conference title, and the chance to play the Western Conference champion for the NHL title, and the Stanley Cup trophy.

The NHL playoffs continue Monday with the Detroit Red Wings working to close out their Western Conference semifinal series against San Jose when they visit the Sharks for game six.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.