Rangers Tame The Sabres; Earn Third Consecutive Victory

NY Rangers

With the Rangers coming back to MSG on a two-game winning streak, and the Sabres entering the contest following a 9-2 thrashing of the Ottawa Senators, both teams were looking to continue building on their respective momenta. And had it not been for Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers win streak would’ve ended at two. Fortunately, King Henrik turned back the clock and stole this game for his team as the Rangers defeated Buffalo 3-1.

Neal Pionk – Following a scoreless first period that saw the Rangers hemmed in their own zone for a majority of the opening 20 minutes, it was Blueshirts blueliner Neal Pionk that gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead early in the second. Pionk’s initial shot went wide but the puck was retrieved by Mika Zibanejad, who fed it to Namestnikov. Vlad sent it across the ice to Pionk, who sent a wrist shot into the top corner of the net. The goal was Pionk’s first of the season and his second career goal against the Sabres.

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Jimmy Vesey – The Harvard alum notched himself the game-winning goal and the insurance goal in this one, his fourth and fifth goals of the season. Vesey’s first tally of the night came just 19 seconds after Pionk gave the Rangers the lead. Vesey took a deft pass from Brett Howden and beat Hutton on the glove side, giving the Blueshirts a two-goal lead.

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After the Sabres made it 2-1 in the third, Vesey ensured that Rangers fans would go home happy, netting the empty netter from inside his own zone and securing the 3-1 victory.

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Vesey has been working hard this season and it must feel nice for him to see the puck hitting the back of the net.

Brett Howden – Aside from the delicious dish that set up Vesey’s goal, Howden is worth mentioning because he was forced to leave the game in the second period. After taking a pass from the aforementioned Vesey, Howden hit the side of the net with the shot and then slid awkwardly into the boards.

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He was held out of the third period for precautionary reasons according to the Rangers, and hopefully, it won’t be anything serious. If Howden does have to miss any amount of time, a call-up from Hartford is likey and that could mean Lias Andersson making his 2018-19 season debut for the Blueshirts.

Pavel Buchnevich – Prior to the matchup between the Blueshirts and Sabres, head coach David Quinn said that he hoped Buchnevich would “do something” after being a healthy scratch in each of the team’s last two games.

While he didn’t end up on the scoresheet, you could tell that the young Russian had an extra “pep in his step” against the Sabres. Buchnevich had his two shot attempts blocked, but he also had four hits and two takeaways. Ryan Spooner is nursing a lower-body injury and Howden’s status is unknown so you would figure that Buchnevich isn’t coming out of the lineup any time soon. But he must keep up this level of play if he wants to remain a mainstay on David Quinn’s roster.

Henrik Lundqvist – This night belonged to King Henrik. The Rangers netminder stopped 39 of 40 Buffalo shots, including a few super stops that brought the MSG crowd to their feet. In the first period, Henrik made the initial save on Casey Nelson’s one-timer and immediately dove back to clear the puck off of the goal line. Later in the first, King Henrik showed his flexibility and denied Berglund while doing the splits to keep the game scoreless after the first.

Henrik Lundqvist has gotten off to a very good start this season, showing that he has no plans of slowing down any time soon.

Next Game: The Blueshirts will look to make it four wins in a row on Tuesday night when they host the Montreal Canadiens at MSG. Puck drops at 7!

LETS GO RANGERS!!