The New York Rangers defeated the Buffalo Sabres in overtime 2-1. For a box score, click here.
Once again, that is the Henrik Lundqvist we’ve grown to know and love. As he said in the postgame, when he has a bad game it tends to be a “really bad game”. Tuesday was one of those. Tonight was the guy fans expect to see every night. I don’t know why those “really bad games” keep happening but hopefully we see less of them down the stretch. More A and B games, less C and lower games. (I know he only said C games but let’s be honest, he’s had some D’s and F’s in there too this season.)
I also said the other night that the forwards needed to step up. Yes scoring would help but overall they needed to be better. Tonight they were. Tonight they worked with the defense to create five-man units on the ice each shift no matter what zone they were in. Was it a perfect game? No, the Sabres definitely had more chances than Vigneault will be happy about. Was it a 60-minute effort and therefore a step in the right direction? Absolutely. While the Sabres had chances, there wasn’t a period of time (or full period, for that matter) where the Rangers looked lost. And that’s what they need from the team right now.
Yes it would’ve been nice to win in regulation, either by scoring more goals or preserving the shutout, but they are going to have games like this. Games where the goalies are the stars of the night. And that’s what tonight was. Lundqvist shining and Lehner matching his every move. Unfortunately the latter couldn’t stop this passing play:
If I didn’t hear names or see numbers, I would’ve thought that pass came from Stepan or Zuccarello and not J.T. Miller. It’s amazing the amount of guys on this team who have the ability to make passes like that. It’s also a good thing Kreider didn’t think and just shot the puck when it came back to him. He said afterwards he probably would’ve missed if he had time to think about it.
And so the Rangers once again go on the road and get back in the win column. That’s the good news. The bad news? They head right back home for a four game home stand. They are going to need to be better at MSG. Might as well start Sunday afternoon when the Calgary Flames come to visit.
(Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)