The New York Rangers were able to rebound after a Sunday afternoon loss to the Boston Bruins, and defeated the Buffalo Sabres this evening 3-2 at Madison Square Garden. Pavel Buchnevich and Alexis Lafrenière got New York on the board early in the game, and they were able to close out the Sabres with a solid defensive effort in the third period. Igor Shesterkin got the start in goal this evening for the Blueshirts, and made several jaw-dropping saves to keep the Rangers ahead in the game.
Pavel Buchnevich (6) - Mika Zibanejad (5) & Adam Fox (10) - 0:28
It didn’t take the Rangers very long to expose the Buffalo Sabres, who were caught sleeping just 28 seconds into the game. For all the criticism surrounding Mika Zibanejad, he started the entire sequence with a beautiful outlet pass to Pavel Buchnevich who flew right past Rasmus Dahlin. Buchnevich was hounded as he broke in all along on Carter Hutton, but he was able to fight off the check and snap a shot under the crossbar.
Sam Reinhart (8) - Victor Olofsson (9) & Jack Eichel (13) - 0:55
As quickly as the Rangers opened the scoring, Buffalo answered back just over 20 seconds later as Sam Reinhart registered his eighth goal of the season. The Sabres were able to catch the Rangers in transition through the neutral zone and capitalized on the 2-on-1 rush into the offensive zone. K’Andre Miller didn’t realize his defensive partner was caught up ice, and stepped to Victor Olofsson in an attempt to make a play on the puck. Unfortunately, that left Sam Reinhart all alone in the middle of the ice, and a quick pass from Olofsson tied up the game at the 1-1.
Alexis Lafrenière (3) - Pavel Buchnevich (9) - 2:36
Lafrenière-Zibanejad-Buchnevich on their second shift of the game, earn their second goal of the game. Zibanejad forces a turnover, Buchnevich makes the play, and the puck goes off Lafrenière #NYR pic.twitter.com/irIFJRPD8g— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) March 3, 2021
The pace during the open two minutes continued to be fast and furious, and the Rangers found the go-ahead goal at the 2:36 mark of the period. Pavel Buchnevich made an incredible individual play to create space at the top of the crease, side stepped the goaltender and tossed a shot on goal. Alexis Lafrenière had already driven to the front of the net, and the puck wound up deflecting in off of his right leg to restore the Rangers’ one-goal lead.
Chris Kreider (10) - Ryan Lindgren (8) & Adam Fox (11) - 9:32
Just prior to the halfway mark of the second period, Chris Kreider gave the Rangers an insurance marker to make it 3-1. The play itself was relatively harmless as the Rangers regrouped in the defensive zone, and Ryan Lindgren broke the puck out to Chris Kreider. Kreider entered the zone by himself and elected to generate a shot on goal as his teammates came into the zone. To everyone’s surprise, Carter Hutton completely whiffed on the routine glove save attempt and Kreider picked up his tenth goal of the season.
Tobias Rieder (4) - Rasmus Ristolainen (5) & Rasmus Dahlin (8) - 16:21
With a little under four minutes remaining in the middle frame, the Sabres were able to catch a fortunate bounce in front of the net. The point shot by Rasmus Ristolainen wound up being deflected in front by Tobias Rieder, and flipped over Igor Shesterkin. The deflection happened so quickly that no one realized the puck had initially entered the net, and the Sabres were able to make it a one-goal game heading into the third period.
The Rangers offense got going early in this game, and they were able to control a majority of the play over the Sabres. Defensively, the Rangers came up big in the third period to defend their one-goal lead, and they got timely saves from Igor Shesterkin. Overall, it was a complete effort from start to finish and the Rangers were able to right their wrongs from Sunday afternoon.
Following tonight’s win at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers will embark on a six-game road trip with a pair of games against the New Jersey Devils, Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins starting on Thursday evening at the Prudential Center.