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Sabres at Rangers preview: Trying to bounce back

Yesterday, the Sabres were shut out by the Panthers, and today they go up against one of the stingier teams in the league, the Rangers.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Game #40

Buffalo Sabres (14-22-3) at
New York Rangers (20-11-4)

Puck Drop: 7:00 pm EST | Madison Square Garden | New York, NY
TV: MSG | Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Rangers Blog: Blueshirt Banter

Three Questions

1. How long will it take Buffalo to score tonight?

The Rangers rank ninth in the league in goals against, and while there's a good chance the Sabres will face a backup tonight rather than Henrik Lundqvist, it will still be interesting to see whether they can get off to a fast start or whether the sting of last night's shutout will follow them.

2. Can the Sabres take advantage of the Rangers poor performance in the faceoff circle?

The one team stat that the Rangers struggle with is faceoff percentage - they're third last in the league, winning just 46.7% of their draws. Of course, the Sabres are last, but they're last in most offensive categories so we gotta have something to work with, here.

3. Will Buffalo have anything left in the tank by the end of the game?

The second game of a back-to-back, on the road, coming off of a big holiday week? I mostly sat on my couch watching Netflix this week  and going to various holiday parties, and I'm borderline exhausted. If the Sabres find themselves in a position to win the game in the final frame, will they be able to make it happen?

Projected BUF lines

Moulson - Girgensons - Ennis
Deslauriers - Flynn - Stafford
Hodsgon - Grigorenko - Stewart
Larsson - McCormick - Kaleta

Gorges - Strachan
Ristolainen - Zadorov
Weber - Benoit

Goal: Michal Neuvirth