The Buffalo Sabres had a strong start both offensively and defensively against the Ottawa Senators on Friday night. That team didn't show up on Saturday against the Rangers. The Sabres looked slow and tired all night as the team was wiped across the ice to the tune of a 6-3 loss to the Rangers.
Derek Stepan became the hero of the game for the Rangers as he opened up his NHL career with a hat trick, the first of which came in the first period:
Dubinsky scored the Rangers second goal of the first period after a defensive miscue by Tyler Myers:
In the second period, Jordon Leopold got his first of two goals on the night off a shot from the point:
Then, Derek Stepan scored his second and third goals of the night about three minutes apart to bring the Rangers up to a 4-1 lead:
The Rangers got off to a quick start in the third period with a goal 1:08 into the third period by Erik Christensen:
The Sabres then put two goals on the board to keep the game interesting, the first from Jordon Leopold, his second of the night, and the second from Derek Roy:
The Rangers ice the game with an empty net goal from Brandon Dubinsky:
Ryan Miller really got no help on most of these goals due to the fact that most of them were defensive miscues that led to either odd man rushes or wide open looks on the net. He did allow five goals on 25 shots though, which will make for a terrible stat line in the morning. Tyler Myers looked almost pedestrian in this game, on the ice for three of the Rangers five goals. He looked lost for most of the night and had some really bad passes or bad defensive reads that make you wonder what he was thinking.
For the Rangers, Stepan becomes the fourth NHL player to open his NHL career with a hat trick, the last to do so was Fabian Brunnstrom in 2008. Brandon Dubinsky ended up with two goals and Henrik Lundqvist made 33 saves on 36 shots.
The Sabres have to put this one behind them and focus on the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks who come to town on Monday.