Preview: Sabres roll into Big Apple to face Rangers
Buffalo looks to continue their hot start with a stop at Madison Square Garden.
Buffalo Sabres (8-1-1) vs. New York Rangers (2-4-1)
Puck Drop: 7:00 PM EST | Madison Square Garden | New York, NY
Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Rangers Blog: Blueshirt Banter
Know Your Opponent
New York Rangers
Record: 2-4-1 | 5 PTS
Last 10: 2-4-1
Division Ranking: 8th in Metropolitan Division
Conference Ranking: 15th in the Eastern Conference
PP: 13th (20.8%)
PK: 18th (77.4%)
What to Watch
1. Riding the Hot Hand
Winners of three straight, Buffalo looks to continue their hot start at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night.
The Sabres have dealt with adversity well - most recently confirmed by their 2-0 deficit that was overcome last game against the San Jose Sharks.
There is not much that seems to shake this Sabres squad early on, which makes riding that hot hand a little easier.
2. Preying on Weaker Teams
The New York Rangers most certainly would like to have started the season a little better - a current five-game losing streak certainly points to that thought. A record of 2-4-1 in their first seven games is not ideal for a team that was expected to struggle a little.
Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist even finds himself suffering a little out of the gate. In four starts, Lundqvist is 1-3-0 with 14 goals allowed (3.57 goals-allowed average) and a .906 save percentage.
If Buffalo wants to continue to put distance between themselves and non-playoff teams early on, beating teams like the Rangers is incredibly important - even in October.
3. Untouchable in Net
Goaltender Carter Hutton has enjoyed a white-hot start to his 2019-20 campaign.
In six starts, Hutton is 6-0-0 with a 1.65 goals-allowed-average, a .943 save percentage and two shutouts.
While Hutton is expected to split starting duties with Linus Ullmark more than last season, a strong start might buy Hutton more playing time.
Either way, Buffalo looks much stronger in net through their first ten games.
Victor Olofsson - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart
Jeff Skinner - Marcus Johansson - Vladimir Sobotka
Jimmy Vesey - Casey Mittelstadt - Conor Sheary
Zemgus Girgensons - Johan Larsson - Kyle Okposo
Jake McCabe - Rasmus Ristolainen
Marco Scandella - Henri Jokiharju
Starting Goaltender: Carter Hutton
New York Rangers (projected)
Chris Kreider - Mika Zibanejad - Kaapo Kakko
Artemi Panarin - Ryan Strome - Pavel Buchnevich
Brendan Lemieux - Brett Howden - Jesper Fast
Brendan Smith - Lias Andersson - Greg McKegg
Marc Staal - Adam Fox
Libor Hajek - Jacob Trouba
Brady Skjei - Anthony DeAngelo
Starting Goaltender: Henrik Lundqvist