It was probably the worst game the Sabres have played during the winless streak and they paid for it with a 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers. The Rangers were the better team from the opening faceoff and they never let up. The Sabres only goal was scored by Jason Pominville on a 4-on-2 break. The Rangers got goals from Brandon Dubinbsky and Peter Prucha in the victory.
It's easy to say that the effort wasn't there for the Sabres but the Rangers deserve some credit as well. The Rangers had a great game plan to take advantage of the Sabres weaknesses. The most glaring deficiency of the Sabres game was their lack of a puck moving defenseman. The Rangers unleashed a fierce forecheck that kept the Sabres hemmed in their own zone all night. The Sabres looked confused in their own zone and never figured it out the entire game. The Rangers were well aware of the injuries to the Sabres and decided to play a defensive style to limit the Sabres chances. It payed off because they outshot the Sabres 35-24.
Ryan Miller seemed to bounce back from a lackluster performance against New Jersey on Saturday. Miller made 33 saves and many of them were difficult saves. Miller has been inconsistent all season and has received some criticism (mostly from me). If tonight was any indication of how he is going to play the rest of the season the Sabres should be in great shape if they get some of the injured players back soon.
The next game will be Friday against the Atlanta Thrashers at HSBC Arena. The Thrashers have been playing well and beat Detroit on Tuesday night. The last time the Sabres and Thrashers met was Sunday January 6 in Atlanta, the Thrash were victorious by a score of 5-2.