New York Rangers to start Alexandar Georgiev against Sabres, plus updated Stanley Cup odds

alexandar georgiev
Dec 10, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) makes a blocker save during the second period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres are set to square off at Madison Square Garden. Puck drop is set for 5:00 PM ET and you can find out how to watch, stream and listen to the game here.

The Rangers are within reach of top spot in the Metropolitan Division, currently held by the Carolina Hurricanes by six points. They are also just a point behind the the Pittsburgh Penguins for second place in the division with a game in hand. They’ve earned wins against both clubs of late, most recently a 5-1 triumph against Pittsburgh on Friday.

New York is 5-2-0 in its past seven games and looking to keep their winning ways going. The Rangers have done it with consistency, never losing more than two in a row since early November (when they went 0-1-2), and they haven’t lost three straight in regulation at any point this season.

“When you think you’re a good hockey team and you want to be a good hockey team, you don’t get in long losing streaks,” coach Gerard Gallant said.

Alexandar Georgiev starts against the Sabres

new york rangers
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers coach announced that he will be going with the same lineup he used against the Penguins except for Alexandar Georgiev in net.

Georgiev, 26, earned his first victory against a team other than Anaheim since Jan. 3 last Sunday against the Carolina Hurricanes. It also marked his biggest save total of the season as he notched his seventh career shutout. It had been more than a year — March 17, 2021 — since his last one. 

“It felt pretty great.” Georgiev said after stopping all 44 shots directed his way. “It’s been a long time since I had a game like that, where it’s not a lot of goals and tight to the end. I tried to enjoy the moment and compete.”

His head coach credited him for an incredible performance under adverse circumstances.

“We were a tired hockey team coming in at 2 o’clock in the morning and having to play at 6,” coach Gallant admitted. “I was so happy to see [Georgiev] come off the ice with a shutout.”

Georgiev has good career numbers against the Sabres with a record of 3-2-0. He also has a .924 SV%, and a 2.51 GAA against them in those contests.

Updated Stanley Cup playoffs odds

The New York Rangers were one of several teams that had their odds to win the Stanley Cup improve after the NHL Trade Deadline.

The Blueshirts remain one of the biggest surprises of the season and they plugged several key holes leading up to and at the deadline. By adding Andrew Copp, Frank Vatrano, Tyler Motte, and Justin Braun they’ve gone from +2000 to +1800 on  BetMGM.

Per the website MoneyPuck, the Rangers have a 99.98% chance to make the playoffs with a 5.5% chance to win the Cup.

The Panthers had one of the bigger jumps as they were a +800 in February on BetMGM and now come in at +550 thanks to their deadline acquisitions. Claude Giroux, Ben Chiarot, and Robert Hagg have all contributed since being acquired.

Coming in tops to win the Cup are the Colorado Avalanche, who improved slightly from +450 to +375 after acquiring Josh Manson, Artturi Lehkonen, Nico Sturm, and Andrew Cogliano.

The Hurricanes went from +1600 to +1000 in a month. This is mostly due to their strong play but adding Max Domi to bolster their attack certainly helps.

Another big mover were the Boston Bruins, who jumped from +2200 to +1800 after making a big move to acquire Hampus Lindholm and Josh Brown to bolster their already strong defense.

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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