Turnovers in their own zone, and the continued inability to play well in front of their own net did the Rangers in again tonight. On Buffalo's first goal, there were three Rangers in front of the net, but Derek Roy was still able to put the puck in the net.
Ryan Callahan continued to show signs that he is coming out of his slump by picking up his sixth goal of the season in the first period. Callahan now has three goals in his last seven games. The Rangers got back to doing what worked on the power play early in the year, constant movement with the puck, putting the puck on net, and the results showed on the scoreboard, as the Rangers went 2 for 6 with the man advantage.
Marian Gaborik snapped out of his mini-slump with two points on the night, picking up an assist on Callahan's goal, and scoring one his own on a rare 4-on-3 power play.
Chris Drury had himself another tough night, he was on ice for Buffalo's first two goals. On the second one, Drury had two chances to clear the puck, and couldn't do it. He did have one of his better games in the face-off circle, winning 13 of 20. But as we've said before, the Rangers need more than face-off wins from their Captain.
Ales Kotalik is practically begging to be benched with his lackadaisical play. With the Rangers on a power play in the second period, first he was beaten along the boards by Jason Pominville, and then after a pass bounced over his stick and got to Patrick Kaleta on a breakaway; Kotalik barely gave chase as Kaleta scored a shorthanded goal. Mistakes will happen with every player, that is a given, but there is no excuse for laziness. Kotalik put a pretty little bow on his "Period in Hell" by taking a cross-checking penalty late in the second.
Henrik Lundqvist made 29 saves in a losing effort.
Notes and Quotes from the Rangers after the jump.......
NEW YORK RANGERS POST-GAME NOTES AND QUOTES
December 12, 2009 - New York Rangers 2, Buffalo Sabres 3 (Game #31, Home #15)
- The Rangers were defeated by the Buffalo Sabres, 3-2, in front of a sold-out crowd (18,200) at Madison Square Garden, and are now 14-15-1 (29 pts.) on the season and 7-8-0 at home.
- New York have sold out 171 consecutive regular season games, dating back to Nov. 5, 2005 against New Jersey; the last regular season non-sellout was Oct. 31, 2005 vs. Montreal (17,697); including the playoffs, the Rangers sellout streak is now at 185 games.
- The Rangers tallied two power play goals in six opportunities to improve to 27.6% (16-58) at MSG this season.
- Marian Gaborik tallied one power play goal and added an assist to record his 13th multi-point game of the season; he has now registered a point in 25 of 29 games this season.
- Ryan Callahan notched one goal, on the power play, and registered four shots in 20:06 of icetime; he has tallied a goal in each meeting with Buffalo this season.
- Vinny Prospal collected one assist and won a game-high 15 faceoffs in 26 attempts (58%); he also tied a game-high with four hits in the contest.
- Henrik Lundqvist made 29 saves in the contest, and has now stopped 132 of 142 shots (.930%) over the last four games.
- Ales Kotalik and Michael Del Zotto each recorded one power play assist apiece in the contest.
- Chris Drury won 13 of 20 faceoffs (65%) and recorded five shots in 21:28 of icetime; Christopher Higgins registered a game-high seven shots.
- The Rangers practice schedule for tomorrow, Dec. 13, is 12:00 p.m. at the MSG Training Center.
- The Rangers return to action on Monday, Dec. 14, when they will face-off against the Atlanta Thrashers at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in the second game of their three-game homestand; the game will be televised live on MSG Network and can be heard on 1050 ESPN Radio.
John Tortorella on tonight’s game…
"Well, we just need to make one play, an offensive play. I thought at times we had chances. They defend pretty well. Our last power play, we threw it away a couple of times there and that hurt us a little bit. Again, it is just getting over that hump in making another big offensive play or maybe a goal go in off you, getting a shot through at the point, having it deflect off you."
Henrik Lundqvist on tonight’s game…
"Bottom line, we know we have to win. We are doing a lot of good things and the work ethic is definitely there. We work really hard. We just come up short a lot of nights. I don’t know what else to say. We just have to keep battling and hopefully it will turn around."
Ryan Callahan on tonight’s game…
"Obviously we need to crash the net more, get pucks into the paint, and get an ugly one there late in the period or even in the second (period). I thought we were forechecking well and we had the puck in their end and controlling them. It’s just a matter of getting the pucks to the net, getting a guy there and getting an extra crack at it."