Kaapo Kakko injured in Rangers 5-1 loss to Sabres

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at New York Rangers
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers were reminded why they don’t call them trap games for nothing.

Just two days after a thrilling victory over one of the NHL’s top teams, the Rangers sunk to the occasion against a middling opponent in a 5-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres Monday at Madison Square Garden.

Alex Tuch scored twice, including the game-winner in the second period, to hand the Rangers’ their second loss at The Garden this season.

Of course, the big story now is how bad Kaapo Kakko is injured after he went down awkwardly in the second period. According to head coach Peter Laviolette, it’s a lower-body which is still being evaluated.

“Never want to see someone get hurt,” captain Jacob Trouba said. “We’re hoping for the best.”

Related: Trouba takes responsibility for fine

Buffalo Sabres 5 vs New York Rangers 1

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at New York Rangers
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The game may have been a laugher early if not for Igor Shesterkin, who covered up a very sloppy evening by the team in front of him, including a point-blank stop on Jeff Skinner in the game’s opening seconds.

But the Sabres broke through on a goal from JJ Peterka 11:41 into the contest, and Tuch’s tally at 19:33 of the second doubled the lead.

“It kind of took the wind out of the sails with that late goal in the second,” Trouba explained. “We kept trying to fight to get momentum and didn’t establish it.

“Turn the page and move on.”

Mika Zibanejad gave the Rangers hope with a power play goal 8:08 into the final frame, but it’s as close as things got for the hosts.

Tuch’s second of the night at 15:31 put the game away before the Sabres added two more, including Kyle Okposo’s goal with 7 seconds remaining.

Shesterkin, who played better than the score would indicate thanks to the late flurry of goals, smashed his stick against the glass as he exited the ice. His 34 saves tied for the second-most he’s made this season.

“Tough game for us tonight,” Laviolette remarked. “We’ll look at it, fix it, and be better.”

The loss extended beyond the scoresheet, as the Rangers lost forward Kaapo Kakko late in the second period. Kakko got tangled up with Erik Johnson behind the Sabres’ net and appeared to injure his left leg when he collided into the boards.

The Rangers host the upstart Detroit Red Wings Wednesday night at The Garden.

Rangers Notes

  • Igor Shesterkin stopped 34 of 38 shots
  • New York was a stunning 72.3% on draws
  • Vincent Trocheck won 94.1% of his faceoffs

The Rangers will hold a practice on Tuesday at the MSG Training Center set for 12:00 p.m.ET. On Wednesday, they’ll host the Detroit Red Wings with a 7:30 p.m. puck drop.

Matt Calamia spent six seasons as a digital content producer and writer for the New York Rangers. Prior to... More about Matt Calamia