As you might have expected out of the bye week the Buffalo Sabres started slow tonight against the New York Rangers. Just 1:24 into the game Rick Nash blew by Jake McCabe for a breakaway and beat Lehner high glove to put the Rangers ahead early.
The Sabres started to get their legs under them in the second half of the period. They had a few chances, including a post on a point shot from Josh Gorges.
In the final minutes of the opening frame, the visitors would find the equalizer. On some nice power play passing, Kyle Okposo put one by Henrik Lundqvist to tie the game at one. That’s how things ended after one.
The Rangers jumped back in front just over eight minutes into the second period. A turnover on the wall ended up on the stick of J.T. Miller. He ripped the puck over the glove hand of Lehner to make it 2-1.
Again, the Sabres battled back with a goal in the tail end of the period. Justin Falk with his first goal since 2015 tied things at two after 40 minutes.
A similar trend continued in the third period. Nash was the beneficiary of a good bounce of the back wall that he deposited into the open net to put the Rangers back in front again.
You guessed it. The Sabres got the game back even again. Ryan O’Reilly deflected a Rasmus Ristolainen shot past Lundqvist for the club’s second goal with the man advantage on the night.
We remained tied for only 1:03 and the Rangers went ahead for good. Lehner was caught overplaying the puck carrier Mika Zibanejad. The Rangers forward put the puck out front to Pavel Buchnevich from the game-winning goal with 3:58 remaining in the game.
The Sabres played well at times and continued to battle, but were never able to get the lead.
Final Score: Rangers 4, Sabres 3
Shots on Goal: Rangers 34 | Sabres 37
Rangers Goal Scorers: Nash (12, 13) Miller (10) and Buchnevich (12)
Sabres Goal Scorers: Okposo (8), Falk (1) and O’Reilly (12)
Three Stars of the Game
1. Rick Nash (2 G, 1 A)
2. Pavel Buchnevich (1 G, 1 A, GWG)
3. Jack Eichel (2 A)
Comment of the Game
I would suggest it’s a lack of overall talent
The Sabres do not sustain good play — from shift to shift / game to game / week to week / etc.
I roll my eyes when anyone suggests this team seems about to ready go on good run. Bylsma said that a lot last year. Housley did it a few times early this season, though he’s since stopped.
I do have to credit them for hanging tough in just about every game, all while having nothing to play for since about Thanksgiving.
But close only counts in ……