Coming off of a disappointing collapse against the Winnipeg Jets, the New York Rangers responded tonight with a big 6-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres. The Rangers were able to put up three goals in the third period, including a pair of goals by Vladislav Namestnikov to break his extended goalless streak. Alexandar Georgiev also picked up his third straight win after turning away 29 of the 30 shots his faced this evening.
Boo Nieves (3) - Brendan Smith (7) - 4:09 1st Period
Early in the first period, the Rangers were able to put on a ton of pressure in the offensive zone and it led to their first goal just four minutes in. Recently recalled Connor Brickley didn’t get on the scoresheet on this goal, but he created the initial opportunity with a chance in front. The puck eventually kicked out to Boo Nieves in the high slot, and he wired a wrist shot past Linus Ullmark to make it 1-0 Rangers.
Jesper Fast (8) - Vladislav Namestnikov (13) & Tony DeAngelo (12) - 14:03 1st Period
Later on in the period, the Rangers doubled up their lead following an extended shift in the offensive zone. Vladislav Namestnikov’s shot from just inside the blue line wound up being deflected by Jesper Fast at the top of the crease, and the shot slipped in behind Ullmark.
Jeff Skinner (35) - Jason Pominville (11) - 0:53 2nd Period
The Sabres were able to bring the game back within a goal just 53 seconds into the second period with Jeff Skinner’s 35th goal of the season. Jason Pominville was able to strip the puck from Marc Staal behind the net, and fed a perfect pass out to Jeff Skinner waiting out in front of the net. Skinner made no mistake with plenty of space, and sniped a shot over the glove of Alexandar Georgiev.
Jimmy Vesey (13) - Pavel Buchnevich (10) & Kevin Hayes (26) - 1:51 2nd Period
The one-goal game would be short-lived as the Rangers responded nearly a minute late to extend their lead to 3-1. Pavel Buchnevich made a great play behind the Sabres’ net to defend the puck and shoveled a one handed pass out to Jimmy Vesey. Vesey was forced to shoot from a pretty tight angle, and somehow slipped the puck over the pad of Linus Ullmark.
Jeff Skinner (36) - Sam Reinhart (37) & Rasmus Dahlin (26) - 16:56 2nd Period
It would be a game against the Rangers if Jeff Skinner wasn’t a thorn in the Rangers side all game long. Skinner was able to bring the Sabres back within a goal once again as he registered his 36th goal of the season. Similar to his first goal, Skinner collected the puck in a shooting lane and absolutely hammered a wrist shot past Georgiev for his second goal of the night.
Pavel Buchnevich (11) - Kevin Hayes (27) & Kevin Shattenkirk (14) - 15:59 3rd Period
With the Sabres relentlessly pressuring the Rangers in the offensive zone, the Rangers needed a way to relieve some of the strong pressure. They were able to do that in the form of an insurance marker with Kevin Hayes setting Pavel Buchnevich up with a beautiful pass in front for the deflection. Buchnevich was left all alone on the left side of the crease, and tapped home the easy goal to put the Rangers up by a pair.
Vladislav Namestnikov (5) - Unassisted - 16:07 3rd Period
Just eight seconds after Buchnevich’s goal, Vladislav Namestnikov forced Linus Ullmark in misplaying the puck, and tapped home the loose puck in the crease. The puck wound up skipping on a rut as it came around the boards, and bounced right out in front of the empty net after deflecting off of Ullmark’s left leg pad.
Vladislav Namestnikov (6) - Ryan Strome (9) & Mats Zuccarello (26) - 19:02 3rd Period
To put the final nail in the coffin, Vladislav Namestnikov added his second goal of the game with the goaltender pulled for the Sabres. Mats Zuccarello and Ryan Strome picked up the assists on the goal as the Rangers put away the Sabres once and for all in the third period.
Following tonight’s win over the Sabres, the Rangers will have a scheduled off day tomorrow before returning to action on Sunday afternoon against the Pittsburgh Penguins.