NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, October 31st
(All times Eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (2-11-1) at New York Rangers (4-7-0), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Rangers will try to secure consecutive wins
for the first time this season when they host the lowly Buffalo Sabres in
Thursday's battle at Madison Square Garden.
New York has won two of its last three games and is coming off Tuesday's 3-2
regulation victory over the rival New York Islanders. The road victory
improved the Rangers' record to 4-7-0 on the season and the club hopes it can
build off the recent win during its first homestand of the campaign.
The Blueshirts opened the season on a nine-game road trip while a renovation
project at Madison Square Garden was being completed. They finally debuted at
MSG on Monday, but dropped a 2-0 decision against visiting Montreal before
rebounding from that home loss with Tuesday's triumph on Long Island.
Thursday's contest kicks off a four-game stay in the Big Apple for the
Rangers, who had a solid 16-6-2 record as the host during last year's lockout-
Benoit Pouliot and Ryan McDonagh each tallied third-period goals to lead the
Rangers to a comeback win over the Islanders. The Rangers were down 2-1 after
the second period before taking control of the contest in the final 20
Chris Kreider added a power-play goal and Derek Stepan chipped in two assists.
Cam Talbot turned aside 22 shots, including all eight he faced in the third
period, to earn his second straight win between the pipes.
"That'll give us a lot of confidence moving forward, to battle back from those
deficits in the third period," said Talbot. "Especially when we've been
struggling to find the back of the net recently."
Talbot anchored a 3-2 overtime win in Detroit on Saturday before Henrik
Lundqvist returned to the lineup in Monday's loss to the Canadiens. Lundqvist
had missed the two games prior to the Montreal tilt with an undisclosed
injury, but the former Vezina Trophy winner is expected to get the call in net
Lundqvist is 12-10-2 with a 2.43 goals against average in 24 career outings
against the Sabres.
Although the Rangers are still without star winger Rick Nash (concussion) and
captain Ryan Callahan (broken thumb), the club did have speedy winger Carl
Hagelin in the lineup for the first time this season on Tuesday. Hagelin had
missed New York's first 10 contests of the campaign while recovering from
shoulder surgery performed in May. He posted an assist in 17 minutes, 15
seconds of ice time in his season debut.
The Sabres enter Thursday on a two-game losing streak and are off to a
dreadful 2-11-1 start to the season. Buffalo lost for the fifth time in six
games in its last trip to the ice, dropping Monday's 4-3 regulation decision
to Lindy Ruff and the Dallas Stars.
Ruff returned to Buffalo for the first time as head coach of the Stars after
getting fired by the Sabres last February. He was the longest tenured coach in
franchise history before the firing.
The Sabres did get a solid performance from new acquisition Matt Moulson in
his debut with the club. Moulson potted a pair of goals in Monday's loss after
coming to Buffalo in a blockbuster trade that sent Thomas Vanek to the New
York Islanders. The Sabres also received a first-round pick in the 2014 NHL
Entry Draft and a second-rounder in 2015.
"He did a good job," Sabres head coach Ron Rolston said of Moulson making his
debut. "He's a hockey player."
Steve Ott also lit the lamp and Ryan Miller allowed all four goals on 29 shots
for Buffalo, which fell to 0-7-1 at home this season.
The Sabres are 2-4-0 as the guest this season and are playing four of their
next five games on the road.
New York has won two of three and five of the last seven meetings against the
Sabres overall and Buffalo has lost two of its last three contests at MSG.
10/31 10:27:49 ET