In today’s matinée at the Garden, the opening puck dropped at 1:00 pm. Just 10 seconds later, Sean Avery drove home a rebound goal sparked by a Brandon Dubinsky drive to the net. The Rangers went on to score three more goals in the 1st period on Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller, who was pulled after just 12:25 played.The Rangers showed no ill-effects from five full days off, and came out like a team on a mission. The new line combinations seemed to be firing on all cylinders, and the Rangers played stifling team defense that frustrated Buffalo’s forwards for most of the game.
Here are 5-hole’s Players of the Game:
1. Brandon Dubinsky – 1 goal, 2 assists.
Made the Buffalo defense look slow several times by cutting hard to the net with the puck from the outside. Created several scoring chances with his speed and willingness to drive to the net.
2. Ryan Callahan – 1 goal.
Was a force to be reckoned with throughout the game on the forecheck. Created several scoring opportunities, and scored his goal after causing a turnover with a big check on Brian Campbell behind the Buffalo net.
3. Sean Avery -2 goals.
Looked great on the ice with Jagr and Dubinsky. Crashed the net off the rush for the 1st goal, and fought hard for rebounds in front of the net throughout the game. Buffalo Defenseman Toni Lydman will definitely have nightmares about Avery torching him for the Rangers 5th goal.
Honorable Mentions: Scott Gomez and Chris Drury
Each had 1 assist, but earn honorable mentions here because of their solid defense all night. Drury played very tough in the Rangers zone, especially along the boards behind the net. He also generated a few nice scoring chances. Gomez was also solid, and had one spectacular goal-saving play in the 2nd period blocking Thomas Vanek’s shot from going into an open net.
Game Notes: Marcel Hossa is in Hartford for conditioning, and will likely miss the Rangers next few games. It was reported earlier this week that Hossa was going to play on the 4th line Saturday instead of Ryan Hollweg, but it was Hollweg on the ice in his usual spot alongside Blair Betts and Colton Orr.
Check out the Video Highlights from today’s game: