New York Rangers face Tage Thompson and Sabres for first time this season

new york rangers
Jan 26, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox (23) advances the puck as Buffalo Sabres center Dylan Cozens (24) defends in the first period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

After four days in between games, the New York Rangers saw their new power-play alignment produce the desired results even if some other aspects of their game were not as sharp.

The Rangers hope to merge their effective power play with more of a complete showing Saturday night when they visit the slumping Buffalo Sabres for the first time this season.

Here’s tonight’s game and broadcast info:

New York Rangers (36-19-9) vs. Buffalo Sabres (32-28-4)
Date/Time: March11, 2023 at 5:00 PM ET
Arena: Keybank Center
TV: MSGSN
Radio: ESPN 1050

New York Rangers take on Sabres

VICTOR OLOFSSON RANGERS
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

New York is 3-5-1 since Feb. 18 and five points ahead of the New York Islanders in the race to earn a top-three spot in the Metropolitan Division. The Rangers dropped the first two games of Patrick Kane’s tenure with the team before earning a 4-3 victory at Montreal on Thursday.

“We’re up and down all night, we just kept battling back and, fortunately for us, at the end of the day we got two points,” New York coach Gerard Gallant said. “Didn’t play a perfect game but we created some good offense and some key guys scored for us tonight.”

Kane produced his first two points with the Rangers, getting a power-play goal and an assist before Mika Zibanejad scored the game-winner in the second round of the shootout.

Kane scored on a night when the Rangers went 2-for-4 on the power play while the former Chicago Blackhawks star played on a power-play until featuring Artemi Panarin, Vincent Trocheck, Alexis Lafreniere and Adam Fox.

New York’s other man-advantage lineup saw Zibanejad and Chris Kreider, Vladimir Tarasenko, Filip Chytil and Jacob Trouba. The new power-play units were installed by Gallant after the Rangers were 5-for-27 (18.5 percent) in their previous eight games before getting two consecutive practice days ahead of their visit to Montreal.

“Right now, it’s a much better feeling,” Panarin said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a shootout or not, two points are two points, so we just take it and keep going.”

The Rangers played a fifth straight game without defenseman Ryan Lindgren, who may be out again with the upper-body injury sustained on a hard hit by Washington’s T.J. Oshie on February 25. The same can be said about forward Tyler Motte, who was injured against the Ottawa Senators on March 2.

“Still day-to-day, [Lindgren] and Motte both,” Gallant said. “We want to make sure they’re ready to go. We’ll see [Saturday].”

Buffalo is six points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second wild-card spot. Since winning five straight from Jan. 19-26, the Sabres are 6-9-1 including 1-4-1 since Feb. 28.

During their past five losses, the Sabres have been outscored 28-12.

The Rangers have won the past five meetings with the Sabres and are 9-0-1 in their past 10 encounters with Buffalo.

Rangers Notes

Once again, this is another back-to-back set for the Rangers as they’ll face the Pittsburgh Penguins tomorrow. That also means a goalie split with the odds being in Jaroslav Halak’s favor to start this matchup against the Sabres.

Halak, 37, is 13-4-0 lifetime against Buffalo with a GAA of 2.08, and a .923 save percentage.

Update: Igor Shesterkin gets the start.

This is also a homecoming for Buffalo, NY native Patrick Kane.

The Blueshirts need to keep a watchful eye on Sabres 25 year-old center, Tage Thompson. This season he has 42 goals and 85 points in 65 games.

–Field Level Media

–Forever Blueshirts contributed to this article