NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 01: Thomas Vanek #26 of the Buffalo Sabres celebrates scoring a goal against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on March 1, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Ryan Miller has activated: "Force team to win game" mode. - Ubiquitous
The final two periods of the Sabres/Rangers game looked an awful lot like the final two periods of the Sabres/Red Wings game from Saturday night. The Sabres jumped out to an early two goal lead and then played back on their heels to let the opposing team inch closer and closer. The only difference against the Rangers was that the Sabres were actually able to win the game 3-2 in regulation.
Ryan Miller was the difference in this game making 29 saves on 31 shots and still only got the second star from the media, first star went to Jochen Hecht. Miller made some incredible saves in the second and third period to keep the Sabres in this game and ultimately gave them two huge points against a team they are chasing in the standings.
Some more thoughts on the game after the jump
- The referees put the whistles away for two of the three periods in this game. Six combined penalties were called in the second period while only just one for the rest of the game. The Sabres were able to capitalize better on the power play, converting twice on three opportunities to the Rangers once on three. Considering John Tortorella wasn't happy about the officiating after the Lightning game on Sunday, he's probably going to have some choice words after this one.
- Brad Boyes got his first goal as a Buffalo Sabre on the power play in the second period. His shooting percentage as a Sabre is 100% as well, it was his only shot of the game. The last deadline day acquisition to score a goal in his first game as a Sabre was Steve Bernier who was acquired in 2008.
- The Sabres outshot the Rangers 9-5 in the first period and then proceeded to be outshot 26-17 over the final two periods. Much of that goes back to the playing back on their heels mentality that got them in trouble against Detroit.
- Bryan McCabe led all Rangers in shooting with six shots in his first game with the Rangers but only registered an assist on the scoresheet. His assist on the Rangers first goal in the second period.