The New York Rangers hosted the struggling Buffalo Sabres on Hockey Fights Cancer Night. It turned out to be one of the wildest games in recent memory that saw plenty of lead changes, a goalie swap, and a last second hero.
Recap: Rangers 5 vs Sabres 4
Sometimes the term “trap game” is used too often. I mean, the Rangers are 10-4-3 and coming off a loss. They weren’t going to take the Sabres lightly, right?
The Rangers started off well but were playing at about 70% capacity. That allowed the Sabres to pick up the pace and force the Blueshirts into taking two penalties. It was on the second one with Kaapo Kakko off for holding that Buffalo made them pay. Rasmus Asplund scored off a rebound in front giving Buffalo the first goal 15:53 into the opening period.
That seemed to wake the Rangers out of their slumber and draw a power play of their own when Jacob Bryson interfered with Filip Chytil. It took just 26 seconds for Artemi Panarin to find Chris Kreider in the slot. The Rangers leading goal scorer made no mistake and buried it past Aaron Dell to tie the game for his 13th of the season. Adam Fox picked up the secondary assist.
If anyone thought the Rangers would start to take the Sabres more seriously in the second, you’d be wrong.
Just 2:26 into the middle stanza, Jarred Tinordi was stripped of the puck at the blue-line by Vinnie Hinostroza, who scored on the breakaway to restore the Sabres lead.
Jacob Trouba would tie the game at 2 on the longest delayed call ending in a goal I’ve seen in recent memory. From the time the refs hand went up, to the when the puck crossed the line 55 seconds has passed.
Then some of the worst goaltending by two opposing goalies I’ve seen in awhile transpired. Four goals were scored in just 82 seconds.
First Kakko scored a gorgeous goal cutting in on Dell to extend his point streak to 4 games. Ryan Strome picked up the primary assist to extend his own point streak to 6. Panarin, who made the long pass to get it started notched his third assist of the game.
Then the Sabres tied the game and took the lead in the matter of 15 seconds. First it was Tage Thompson followed by Rasmus Dahlin. Both goals were played poorly Georgiev.
K’Andre Miller would tie the game just 17 seconds with a long shot of his own that Dell probably wants back. Ryan Reaves, playing in his 700th career game recorded his first point as a Blueshirt on the play.
Igor Shesterkin led the Rangers out for the third period. A move that can’t be downplayed in a 4-4 game with the starting goalie still in line to earn a win. But head coach Gerard Gallant had obviously seen enough.
He would be tested early with Strome being called for tripping. However, the Rangers put the clamps down defensively and only allowed 1 shot on the PP and four in total for the period.
The Rangers brought the heat as the launched 13 shots on Dell in the final frame. They finally broke through in dramatic fashion.
Kreider and Barclay Goodrow pinned the puck in the corner. They held it as the clock ticked down with mere seconds left. Kreider kicked the puck out to Fox, who moved it quick to Mika Zibanejad in the slot. The Blueshirts top pivot hit Ryan Lindgren streaking in alone to tap it home with just .7 on the clock for a 5-4 win.
“The whole third period we were all over them,” Lindgren said. “We wanted to try and end it, play smart and win the game. It was a great effort by us.”
At the end of the game, there also appeared to be a heated exchange between Gallant and Zibanejad. According to the coach it was about Mika being upset with the ref about a missed called. “I told him to leave the ref alone,” Gallant said.
The real problem that can’t be ignored was Georgiev play in goal. When asked about why he replaced him with Shesterkin, Gallant was brief.
- Alexandar Georgiev gave up four goals on 18 shots
- Igor Shesterkin stopped all four shots he faced
- Artemi Panarin picked up three assists, he now has 19 points in 18 games
- Chris Kreider 8th PPG, just 1 behind Leon Draisaitl for the NHL lead
- Ryan Lindgren’s goal was his first ever NHL game-winner
Tomorrow (Monday, November 22): Day Off
Next Game: Wednesday, November 24 at New York Islanders (7:30 p.m. ET – TV: MSG Networks)
*Schedule subject to change
NHL Rumors Roundup
The Daily Goal Horn’s weekly Sunday offering is loaded with the latest on the rumors about the Quebec Nordiques. Also featured are all the rumors this week about the Rangers, Islanders, Habs, and Canucks. Read it here.