The New York Rangers are on the road for the first time in the 2018-19 season, as they travel upstate to take on the Buffalo Sabres. Last season, the Rangers were 3-0-0 against the Sabres.
Both the Sabres and Rangers are 0-1 to start the season, as both lost their home openers Thursday; the Sabres lost 4-0 to the Boston Bruins and the Rangers fell 3-2 to the Nashville Predators.
The Rangers were outshot by the Predators and there’s clearly work to be done in the defensive zone, but they are adjusting to head coach David Quinn’s system, which will take time.
Henrik Lundqvist is set to start tonight. This is the first of a back-to-back for the Rangers, so backup Alexandar Georgiev will likely be in net tomorrow against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Henrik Lundqvist will play tomorrow in Buffalo and Alexandar Georgiev will likely go Sunday in Carolina, per David Quinn.— Colin Stephenson (@ColinASteph) October 5, 2018
While there won’t be any changes in net for the Blueshirts, there is one lineup change — Cody McLeod will draw in for Vladislav Namestnikov on the fourth.
Quinn said the change is more about McLeod than it is about Namestnikov. He wants McLeod to bring "Just a little more pace and energy. Cody had a good camp, and you want to reward him. So, put him in there, and hopefully he continues to build on what he did in training camp.''— Colin Stephenson (@ColinASteph) October 6, 2018
Namestnikov played the fewest all situation (9:34) and 5-on-5 (9:07) minutes last game. He wasn’t particularly noticeable in that time; the Rangers took 50 percent of the 5-on-5 shot share with him on the ice and allowed one goal. Whether this is a long-term change, one to just shake up the lineup and motivate Namestnikov to elevate his game, or one to bring a grittier, physical force to the lineup remains to be seen.
On the other side of the ice, the Sabres will have Carter Hutton in net, and a few lineup tweaks up front.
Housley said Girgensons will move into Sobotka's spot so the lines will be:— Joe Yerdon (@JoeYerdon) October 6, 2018
Hutton will start; Ullmark will backup
For more on the Sabres, check out our friends over at Die by the Blade.
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