BUFFALO, N.Y. - Brad Richards needed 896 games for his first NHL hat trick, and it came at just the right time.
Richards scored twice as the New York Rangers had five goals in a span of less than 3 minutes and he then completed the hat trick in the third period in an 8-4 rout of the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night.
Richards has five points - four goals and an assist - in the last two games.
"I don't even really want to talk about it," Richards said. "I don't want to jinx it. It's just, if it's back now, it's a great time to have it. Let's put it that way."
Richards, who had 22 two-goal teams in his 11-year career, has 10 goals this season.
The five-goal spurt at the end of the opening period and the beginning of the second was part of a 6-0 outburst to start the game.
Richards scored the game's second goal - on a shot off a Sabres defenseman - as the Rangers scored a franchise-record five goals in 178 seconds and improved to 23-17-4. New York remains in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 50 points.
Carl Hagelin, Ryane Clowe, Anton Stralman, Rick Nash and Ryan Callahan also scored for New York.
Cody Hodgson, Nathan Gerbe, Drew Stafford and Mark Pysyk scored for Buffalo, which was eliminated from the postseason picture and had its three-game winning streak stopped.
The Rangers' five goals in a span of 2:58 set a franchise record. The previous mark for fastest five goals was 3:22 in an 8-7 win over Edmonton on Feb. 15, 1985.
• Blackhawks 5, Predators 4: In Chicago, Marian Hossa scored a power-play goal just 52 seconds into overtime and the streaking Chicago Blackhawks swept the season series against the Nashville Predators for the first time.
With Rich Clune in the penalty box serving a four-minute minor for high sticking, Patrick Kane sent a pass across the ice to Hossa, who one-timed it past Pekka Rinne for his 17th goal of the season. Kane, Michal Handzus, Duncan Keith and Brandon Saad also scored for the NHL-best Blackhawks, who have won seven straight.
• Blues 2, Stars 1: In St. Louis, Brian Elliott made 21 saves to help the St. Louis Blues win for the ninth time in their last 11 games with a victory over the Dallas Stars.
Ryan Reaves and Chris Stewart scored for the Blues, who are in sixth in the Western Conference with 54 points - one behind Vancouver, Los Angeles and San Jose, who are tied for third.
Antoine Roussel scored for Dallas, which came in with six victories in its last seven games. The Stars are tied with Detroit for ninth place in the West with 47 points, two behind Columbus, which holds the final playoff spot.
• Oilers 4, Avalanche 1: In Denver, Jordan Eberle scored and had two assists, Devan Dubnyk stopped 33 shots and Edmonton broke a six-game skid at Colorado.
Taylor Hall, Justin Schultz and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also had goals for the Oilers, who kept their faint postseason hopes afloat. They trail current No. 8 seed Columbus by eight points.
• Flames 3, Ducks 1: In Calgary, Alberta, Miikka Kiprusoff, amid speculation that he may retire at season's end, made 32 saves in Calgary's regular-season home finale to lead the Flames over the playoff-bound Anaheim Ducks.
Roman Horak and Brian McGrattan each scored and Roman Cervenka added an empty-net goal for the Flames, who close with a four-game road trip beginning Sunday in Minnesota.
Although Kiprusoff has one year remaining on his contract, it drops to $1.5 million next year and there has been rampant speculation that the 36-year-old will call it a career.