The Winter Classic didn’t get off to a really rough start for the Buffalo Sabres. For the first 10 or so minutes of the game, the New York Rangers carried the play. A little over four minutes into the game the Rangers got on the board first thanks to a goal from Paul Carey. A bad turnover and lapse in defensive awareness allowed Carey to be alone in the slot and beat Robin Lehner.
Just over four minutes later the blue shirts added to their lead. Kevin Hayes made a nice spin pass that went behind Lehner and was finished off by Michael Grabner.
The Sabres finally got into the game after the Rangers took a few penalties. After 20 minutes New York took a 2-0 lead into the intermission and a 16-13 lead in shots on goal.
On a carryover penalty from the first period. The Sabres got within one just 56 seconds into the middle frame. Sam Reinhart cleaned up a rebound in front of Henrik Lundqvist. This was only a few seconds after Lehner foiled Grabner on a shorthanded breakaway to keep it a two-goal game.
The play opened up in the period as we saw some back and forth action. Including a few near misses, good saves and posts. Buffalo put more rubber on the net in the second with 11 compared to the Rangers 10.
The Sabres struck early in the period again to tie things up in the third period just 27 seconds in. Rasmus Ristolainen threw a wrist shot on goal that got through the traffic and beat Lundqvist high on the glove side.
Both teams exchanged chances throughout the period, but neither was able to beat the opposing goaltender. After 60 minutes the two clubs remained tied and we would need overtime to settle this one.
The Sabres had a few chances including a 2 on 1 with Reinhart and Eichel. However, things got dicey when Jacob Josefson took a tripping penalty with 2:45 left in the extra session. The Rangers would get a 4 on 3 power play and ended up cashing in. J.T. Miller picked a rebound in front and deposited it into the open net for the game-winner. The Sabres played pretty well outside of the opening 10 minutes. A tough loss after a good game.
Final Score: Rangers 3, Sabres 2 (OT)
Shots on Goal: Rangers 42 | Sabres 33
Rangers Goal Scorers: Carey (5), Grabner (18) and Miller (8)
Sabres Goal Scorers: Reinhart (6) and Ristolainen (2)
Three Stars of the Game
1. J.T. Miller (1 G, 1 A, GWG)
2. Robin Lehner (39 saves on 42 shots)
3. Henrik Lundqvist (31 saves on 33 shots)
Comment of the Game
After a couple days following that Minnesota kid calles Mittlestadt at the WJC, looks pretty safe to say your scouts hit a home run with that one. Absolute blast to see someone playing a complete game so young. Great mix of skills & speed. Can’t wait to see him in the NHL.
Happy New year to all
Montrealer and Hawks fan
"Strong Enough for a Regular Season, Made for the Playoffs"