Not a pretty one here for the Rangers but, hey, two points is two points in the NHL. No matter what way they come, you can never be unsatisfied with a win. A close game like this, the Rangers showed resilience but there is still some things to ratchet up.
Sabres VS Rangers game recap…
The Rangers got outshot 37-34, nothing major but against one of the worst teams in the NHL, a little concerning. They failed to capitalize on both their power plays which makes that now, 4/20 during the month of January, and their penalty kill allowed two power play goals Thursday night, which makes their penalty kill, 4/20 over the month of January. They are getting their chances on the power play but also making it tough for themselves in terms of taking too many trips to the box. They had 16 giveaways, compared to Buffalo’s 12, but also did have 7 takeaways and 19 blocked shots. There ups and downs to this team right now.
The game started out with a breakaway goal from the one the only, streaky Rick Nash(12) just 1:24 into the game. The Sabres would answer back late in third off a Kyle Okposo(8) power play goal. The second would start off slow and scoreless for the first eight minutes, until JT Miller(10) rifled one home for a Rangers 2-1 lead. Again the Sabres answered back late in the second off a goal by former Rangers Justin Falk(1).
The third would start the same was as the second as Rick Nash scored his second of the game and fourth in two games for a Rangers 3-2 lead. Yet again the Sabres answered back five minutes left in the third, with a bomb from Rasmus Ristolainen(3) to tie the game at three. Just a 1:03 later, Pavel Buchnevich scored the game winning goal off a beautiful play from Nash and Zibanejad to set up Buchnevich for a tap in goal.
The Rangers would hold off the Sabres for the final four minutes and pick up their 24th win of the year and push them three points ahead of the Flyers and Islanders for a wild card spot.
Kevin Shattenkirk out, Anthony De’Angelo in…?
Other news coming out of New York is that Kevin Shattenkirk is out indefinitely with an torn meniscus, which he will under-go surgery for soon. Shattenkirk leads Rangers defenseman with 5 goals, 18 assists and 12 power play points(23 points). With that said Shattenkirk has been -9, recording one assist over the last month of play and without a goal last night extends his goal-less streak to 29 games. This means that Anthony De’Aneglo will most likely get the call up, a right handed, 22-year-old, shifty defenseman out of Sewell, NJ. A player they acquired in the Coyotes deal this summer and a player who has spent much of his time with Hartford in the AHL. De’Angelo has 13 points in 29 games this season(2 goals, 11 assists). Let’s see how the young defenseman fares with the Rangers this time around.
Rangers head to red-hot Colorado…
The Rangers now head to Colorado for the first of their four game road trip before the All-star break. The Rangers will face Colorado, Los Angeles, Anaheim and San Jose before heading home for a much needed six-day rest during the All-Star break.
The Avalanche are on a nine-game winning streak and have a Hart nominee who has been on an absolute tear in the last few months, Nathan McKinnon. Since October 28th, McKinnon ranks first in goals(21) and points(52) and is tied for first with six game-winning goals. On the year McKinnon has 57 points and is four points away from the league lead. The Avalanche have been without their starting goaltender Semyon Varlamov, and still are winning games. They are a physical team with a ton of youth on the back end, and a team that is extremely hungry as they are trying to close in on a playoff spot right now.
The last time the Rangers faced off against the Avalanche was October 5, 2017, the Avalanche won 4-2. Fast forward two and a half months and both teams are in almost identical situations. The Avalanche are 25-16-3 with 53 points tied for a wild card spot and the Rangers are 24-17-5 with 53 points in a wild card spot. The game will air at 3:00 p.m. (EST), Saturday, January 20 , it will also be the free game of the night.