Following a trip back from their California road trip, the New York Rangers collected their third straight win as they defeated the Buffalo Sabres 3-1. Henrik Lundqvist played a large part in the victory as he made 39 saves, and kept the Rangers afloat as the Sabres surged in the first and third periods. Here is tonight’s goal breakdown.
Neal Pionk (1) - Assists: Vladislav Namestnikov (3) & Mika Zibanejad (6)
Up until this point in the game, the Rangers were being thoroughly dominated and went into the intermission looking for answers. Whatever was said in between periods by David Quinn was heard loud and clear, as the Rangers came out absolutely flying. Neal Pionk gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead after his wrist shot made it through traffic, and beat Carter Hutton under the arm.
Jimmy Vesey (3) - Assists: Brett Howden (6) & Jesper Fast (5)
Just 19 seconds after Pionk gave the Rangers a one-goal lead, Jimmy Vesey immediately doubled up the Rangers lead. Brett Howden created the entire sequence with a hard forecheck in the corner, and quickly dished the puck off to Vesey in the high slot. The play happened so quickly that Carter Hutton was still backed up in his crease, and Vesey sniped it over his shoulder.
Conor Sheary (5) - Unassisted
The Rangers only goal against on the night came in the form of a self-inflicted wound, as Brendan Smith’s costly turnover ended up in the back of the net. Henrik Lundqvist was able to make the initial save on Conor Sheary’s attempt, but was unable to stop the second as the Sabres crawled back within a goal.
Jimmy Vesey (5) - Assists: Brady Skjei (5)
After moments of suspense, the Rangers were able to finally ice the game with an empty net goal. Jimmy Vesey was able to make a great defensive play at the blue line, and shot the puck into the empty net from the other side of the ice. You could tell the Rangers weren’t fully satisfied, even with a two goal lead, but they were able to hang on for their third straight win.
Following tonight’s win over the Sabres, the New York Rangers will be right back in action on Tuesday against the Montreal Canadiens at Madison Square Garden.