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Rangers rout the Sabres with three power play goals in the first period

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers goal celebration 1-3

The Rangers took advantage of a tired Sabres team, cruising en route to a five goal game, but still coming out soon. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The Rangers (21-11-4) dominated the Buffalo Sabres (14-23-3) at home on Saturday, cruising to a 6victory. The Sabres played exactly like a team that had played the night before, which they did, and the Rangers were able to take advantage of this, giving them 10 wins in their last 11 games played.

For the second straight game, no player had more than one goal, with six different Rangers finding the back of the net for New York. Thirteen different Rangers recorded at least one point in Saturday’s contest. 

Lundqvist was back in net, where he wasn’t tested often, but still managed to make 24 saves en route to his 18th win of the season.

Also, with the conclusion of the game against Buffalo, the Rangers rank third in goals per game average in the NHL, with just over three goals per game (3.08). They have also outscored their opponents 33-15 in their last nine home games (8-1-0).

The Rangers power play was fantastic, scoring on three of their four chances, with all of them coming in the first period. The first power play came on a tripping called against the Sabres, and the Bluehshirts capitalized, with Derick Brassard scoring his 10th goal of the season. Martin St. Louis made a perfect pass to Brassard, who tipped it past Neuvirth to open the scoring 8:46 into the game. Dan Boyle had the other assist.

Following the goal, the Sabres received a bench penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, and the Rangers went back on the power play, where they scored another goal. Chris Kreider scored this time, and was on the receiving end of a fantastic move and pass from JT Miller, before Kreider made a slick move to get the puck past Neuvirth just 1:07 after the Brassard goal.

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Chris Kreider found the back of the net for the second consecutive game, and has been playing much better in the past few games. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

 

 

However, Kreider was hooked on his breakaway goal, giving the Rangers yet another power play opportunity, due to the fact that the penalty was called while the Rangers were already on the power play. This time, it was the Rangers leading goal scorer finding the back of the net.

Rick Nash and St. Louis were moving the puck very well while up a man, and eventually St. Louis found Nash in front, who was able to pull the puck back and lift it over Neuvirth’s blocker, giving the Rangers their third power play goal in 2:32, as well as a three goal lead.

This was the first time that the Rangers have had three power play goals in a period since they did it against the Washington Capitals in 2010. Also, the last time that they scored three power play goals in a span less than the 2:32 mark against the Sabres was against the Penguins in 1995.

Incredibly, the Rangers did not let up, and scored again 1:16 after the Rick Nash goal. Dan Boyle picked up his second point of the period, and his third goal of the season, firing a well-placed wrist shot over the shoulder of Neuvirth, and giving New York a 4-0 lead in the first. The Rangers had scored on four of their first nine shots in the game.

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Dan Boyle scored the Rangers fourth goal, which practically ended the game for the Sabres. Boyle was effective all over the ice, and played a great game. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

 

Following the goal, the Sabres called a timeout, and Jhonas Enroth replaced Neuvirth, who gave up four goals on nine shots. Neuvirth did start yesterday against the Panthers, making 31 saves, so it was an interesting decision to start him again today, but it did not pan out for Ted Nolan’s team.

The Rangers came out strong in the second period, scoring their fifth consecutive goal of the game less than three minutes into the period. Carl Hagelin’s wrister deflected off a Sabres defenseman and past Enroth, extending the Rangers lead to five. The assists went to Kevin Klein and Matt Hunwick.

Lundqvist’s shutout bid would end just 22 seconds later, with Drew Stafford scoring on a wrap-around just :22 after the Hagelin goal, and putting the Sabres on the board.

With five minutes remaining, Jesper Fast’s wrist shot appeared to come close to scoring, but play continued. Later on, the horn sounded, and upon further review, it appeared that Fast’s shot had crossed the line completely, giving the Rangers back their five goal lead. Kevin Hayes made a great pass to set up Fast on the goal.

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Jesper Fast took advantage of his promotion to the third line, scoring one and providing the strong defense he is known for. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

 

Although it was against a struggling Buffalo team, who is 107-1 in their last nine games, The Rangers capitalized on their advantage over Buffalo, making the win seem easy, and dominating every facet of the game.

In the past two games, the Rangers have had nine different goal scorers, which is exactly what they need. They have been getting production from all four lines, which is something that needs to continue if they want to have success.

Defensemen continue to rack up points, with the Rangers getting a total of five points in the game on Saturday. Dan Boyle led the pack, with a goal and an assist, and has been playing a lot more effectively in the last week or so. Boyle also appears to be fully healthy, and not so bothered by his hand anymore.

The Rangers third lone consisting of Carl Hagelin, Kevin Hayes, and Jesper Fast played extremely well together for the second straight game, and scored twice against Buffalo. Jesper Fast earned the promotion to the third line following the game against the Panthers, and delivered, scoring the Rangers sixth goal.

Rick Nash scored his 24th goal of the season, as well as picking up an assist, giving him a total of 38 points (24-14-38) for the year. Nash leads the NHL in games with a goal (19) and has registered at least one point in 26 of the team’s 36 games, a phenomenal margin.

The Rangers head into a rough five game stretch, starting out against the best team in the NHL, the Anaheim Ducks (25-9-6), on Wednesday, before facing the Kings, the Sharks, the Islanders, and then the Boston Bruins.

THREE STARS

1) Derick Brassard – 1 G, 1 A,

2) Dan Boyle – 1 G, 1 A, 21:12

3) Martin St. Louis – 2 A, 1 BS

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Posted on January 4, 2015, in Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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