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Posts Tagged ‘Sabres’

In a game that could have locked up 5th place as a lowest possible finish, the Rangers came out and went 0 for 8 on the Power Play and also gave up a shorthanded goal while on a 5-on-3 advantage. Seriously.

The Rangers still managed to force a shootout, but quickly fell behind 2-0. The Rangers managed to fight back to even the shootout at 2 goals apiece. (After Sjostrom punched in the 2nd shootout goal, MSG was in a frenzy). But, the Islanders scored a 3rd shootout goal in their 4th attempt and that was that.

I’d run through the playoff scenarios, but Steve Zipay aleady did a pretty good job, so I’m just going to copy and paste what he said here:

Some of the Rangers permutations.
A regulation win against the Devs gives them fourth and home-ice advantage.
A regulation loss could put them in sixth against either Carolina or Washington. A point or an overtime win or a Boston loss to Buffalo gives them fifth and a visit to Newark. A Bruins win and a Rangers loss in regulation would give Boston fifth place because the Bruins own the tie-breaker.

There you have it. I’ll be watching the Final Four tonight but keeping a close eye on the Bruins/Sabres game. If Buffalo wins, the Rangers can’t finish lower than 5th place.

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I very very rarely complain about officiating. It’s a tough job, and for the most part the refs in the NHL do it pretty well. I do, however, have a problem with the calls made (and not made) at the end of the 3rd period of tonight’s game. If you didn’t watch, here’s what happened:

Just before the end of regulation, Colton Orr threw a vicious but clean hit on a Buffalo player right in front of the Buffalo bench. As the horn sounded to end the period, Sabres forward Andrew Peters — who was not on the ice! — threw a left hook at Colton Orr from the bench. Orr responded with a shove, and Peters threw in another punch for good measure.

The only calls were a 10-minute misconduct on both Orr and Peters. What? Really? If you are the referee… what do you call? Certainly Peters deserves a misconduct, which he got. But I would argue that he deserves at least a roughing penalty as well. And why is there a misconduct on Orr? At any rate, throwing a punch from the bench is bush league.

Anyway… I can’t be too mad because the Rangers won the game. It was a closely contested match but the blueshirts got the 2 points they needed.

Eric will have some more on this game later…

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In what might be the best misfire in Rangers history, Brendan Shanahan, with the game tied at 3 late in the 3rd period, teed up a shot in the slot and just barely got a piece of the puck. The misfire trickled towards the corner, but was intercepted by Sean Avery, who buried the puck in the back of the net. The goal gave the Rangers a 4-3 lead, and they held on to win.

The win gives the Rangers some momentum as well as some breathing room in the standings, with a slim 2 point lead over the Sabres for 7th place in the East. (The Sabres have 1 less game played).

The Rangers top line of Jagr-Dubinsky-Avery scored 3 goals in the game (1 by each player), and played with great intensity throughout. Jagr ended a 13-game drought in goal scoring. The other Rangers goal was cashed in by Nigel Dawes on a weak wrister that beat Miller over the glove hand. (It seems to us that Miller is a little too eager to get down on his knees…… hmm… interesting…).

The Rangers take a red-eye back to NYC tonight and will be in action tomorrow evening against the Panthers in Madison Square Garden. Preview coming later.

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The Rangers play the Sabres tonight in Buffalo.   The last time these teams met was 1 week ago at Madison Square Garden, and resulted in a 5-1 Rangers victory.

How are the Rangers going to play as a team after suffering that devastating loss in Montreal?  They’ve had a few days off to stew about it, and while the quotes from the players have been optimistic, it’s something that is not easily forgotten.

This is Chris Drury’s first game in Buffalo as a Ranger.  You can expect lots of booing when he has the puck.

This should be a tightly contested game.  Both teams want to get 2 points, and both teams will be trying to win in regulation.  Now I’m off to watch the Duke game.

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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:

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This is the second game this season between the Rangers and Sabres. The Rangers won the first meeting 2-1. This is a huge game for both teams, but it might be more important for the Rangers. In the standings, Buffalo is in 7th place with 64 points, while the Rangers are in 9th place with 63. BUT, the Sabres have played 2 fewer games. This might be a must-win for the Rangers if they want to avoid a fire-sale at the trade deadline.

 

Here are four storylines I’ll be keeping an eye on… after the jump.

 

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