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Rangers look to clinch playoff berth tonight against Buffalo

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers vs sabres 3-14

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

After failing to clinch a playoff berth on Tursday, the Rangers (43-25-9) will take another crack at it tonight as they enter the home stretch of the season, taking on the Buffalo Sabres (32-35-11) at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers last played on Thursday night, seeing their nine game win streak against the Hurricanes come to an end. They lost in overtime to the Penguins on Monday night as well, and with the Penguins winning again this week, the Rangers now sit in third place in the Metropolitan; one point behind the Pens and two ahead of the Islanders.

Including tonight, there are five games left in the regular season, with four of them coming on home ice for the Rangers. Clinching a playoff berth is obviously a goal, but the team also needs to work on establishing consistent play from the team. They got off to a lousy start in Carolina and then lost in regulation despite leading after two periods. Read the rest of this entry

Raanta fantastic as Rangers fend off Sabres comeback to avoid back-to-back losses

Bobby Bevilacqua

derick brassard and mats zuccarello celebrate 3-8

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Yet again, the Rangers (39-22-6) answered a loss with a win taking down the Buffalo Sabres (27-32-9) by a final score of 4-2, extending their win streak to nine games against the Sabres.

The Rangers have now won 11 straight games immediately following a regulation loss, marking the longest stretch in one season in team history. The last time they lost back-to-back games was December 18 and 20.

This wasn’t the best played game of hockey for Alain Vigneault’s club. In fact, they didn’t play that well at all. The only time where the Rangers dominated play was the first six or seven minutes of the second period. Other than that, they were outplayed by the Sabres for a vast majority of the game. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers battling injuries as they take on Eichel and the Sabres

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers vs sabres 3-14

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Following a tough loss at home to the Islanders, the Rangers (38-22-6) will look to try and add points to their second place lead when they battle the Buffalo Sabres (27-31-9) at the First Niagara Center without their full lineup intact.

After the defeat at the hands of the Islanders, the Rangers lead in the Metropolitan fell to just three points. If they want to rebound with a win tonight, they’ll need to play a much more complete game than they did on Sunday. The Rangers didn’t show up for the first 10 minutes of the game and gave up three quick goals, and their late game comeback wasn’t enough.

The Rangers have lost two out of their last three games after winning five of six games, and the Islanders and the Penguins are now creeping up in the standings. On top of that, they’ll be playing tonight’s game without four of their key players. Henrik Lundqvist and Rick Nash are getting closer to returning but remain out, plus Dylan McIlrath and Marc Staal did not make the trip to Buffalo. The Rangers recalled Brady Skjei from Hartford on an emergency basis. Read the rest of this entry

Thrilling third period leads to a big Rangers win; Brassard tallies five points

Bobby Bevilacqua

Dylan McIlrath and Jesper Fast celebrate 1-25

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

Well, that was exciting.

After a lackluster performance against the Senators on Sunday afternoon, the Rangers (27-16-5) came back with a much better effort and a fantastic offensive performance, downing the Buffalo Sabres (19-26-4) by a final score of 6-3 in the last game for the Blueshirts before the All-Star Break.

After some tight checking, competitive hockey in the first two periods, everything opened up in the third period, where a combined six goals were scored, four of them coming in a span of less than five minutes. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers need rebound win in matchup against Buffalo; Lunqvist and AV infuriated

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers vs sabres 3-14

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Let’s face it, the Rangers (26-16-5) stunk last night.

After two very strong and promising performances by the team against Vancouver and the Hurricanes, Vigneault’s squad came out almost entirely flat, barely pressuring Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson and showing a lack of effort. It’s not often that you can criticize the Rangers’ effort, but it wasn’t there last night.

That led Henrik Lundqvist to question his team’s preparation in his postgame interview when questioned about the topic. Read the rest of this entry