The Sabres fought back in the third but still came up short
They almost came back, but they didn’t
Score: Rangers 5 | Sabres 3
Shots: NYR 40 | BUF 19
Rangers Goals: Kappo Kakko (3, 4), Chris Kreider (15, 16) (PPG), and Adam Fox (3)
Sabres Goals: Rasmus Asplund (2), Dylan Cozens (4), and Jeff Skinner (3)
Minus - 1 | Hutton Hurt
Carter Hutton left the game tonight in the first period after a collision. It looked like a bad leg injury for the veteran goaltender. Dustin Tokarski finished the game in his first NHL game action since 2016.
The Sabres are now down to Tokarski, Michael Houser, and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen as their three remaining goaltenders in the organization. I would expect Luukkonen to join the team tomorrow as they need a goalie on the taxi squad. Linus Ullmark is on the trip but is still likely a week or two away.
Minus - 2 | Tough night for Ristolainen and Bryson
Rasmus Ristolainen and Jacob Bryson struggled tonight. They were on the ice for four of the five Rangers goals. They had under a 30% shot quality share (xGF%) at 5 on 5, according to Natural Stat Trick.
Bryson was knocked off the puck by Panarin to set up the first goal and Ristolainen successfully did absolutely nothing to get burned by Adam Fox on the third goal of the game.
Plus - 1 | Some pushback
The Sabres still have not won a game when going into the third period trailing. However, they showed some life tonight. They entered the third down 3-1, but managed to tie the game at three with goals by Cozens and Skinner.
A Rangers power play goal in the third period would be the difference maker.
Plus - 2 | Skinner getting hot?
The line of Casey Mittelstadt, Jeff Skinner, and Curtis Lazar was easily the best of the night for the Sabres. Skinner was all over the ice creating chances and having a few chances of his own.
With his goal tonight, Skinner has two goals in his last three games.