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Rangers vs. Sabres: Rangers Cough Up Lead and Lose in the Shootout

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New York Rangers v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

The New York Rangers dropped their second game against the Buffalo Sabres this evening after falling 3-2 in the shootout. New York coughed up another one-goal lead in the third period as Victor Olofsson rifled a shot past Igor Shesterkin. The lone goal in the shootout belonged to Tage Thompson in the second round, while Linus Ullmark closed out the game without allowing a goal.

1st Period

Artemiy Panarin (10) - Chris Kreider (8) & Adam Fox (28) PPG - 10:02

Around the halfway mark of the first period, the Rangers went to work on their first power play as Taylor Hall was sent off for interference. Just 30 seconds into the man-advantage, New York capitalized on a transition play into the offensive zone. After a failed centering feed by Chris Kreider missed the target, Artemiy Panarin was able to quickly follow up the puck. Linus Ullmark was still recovering from the initial chance, and Panarin was able to slip the puck past him from around the goal line.

Casey Mittelstadt (3) - Taylor Hall (17) & Rasmus Dahlin (11) - 13:01

Exactly three minutes after the Rangers’ opening goal, Buffalo was able to jump back into the game courtesy of Casey Mittelstadt. Rasmus Dahlin started the entire rush with a quick breakout pass to Taylor Hall, who broke up the ice with a 2-on-1 chance. Hall deferred over to Casey Mittelstadt on the far side of the ice, and he absolutely wired a shot past Igor Shesterkin. The goal gave Buffalo some life as they took a 1-1 tie into the first intermission of play.

2nd Period

Artemiy Panarin (11) - Adam Fox (29) & Ryan Lindgren (12) - 17:52

There was a bit of a lull in the second period in terms of scoring, but with just over two minutes remaining, Artemiy Panarin restored the one-goal lead. Adam Fox continued his dominance in the offensive end, and fed a beautiful cross-ice feed to Artemiy Panarin in the middle of the ice. The Breadman wound up for a heavy one-timer, and smoked the puck past Linus Ullmark to give New York a 2-1 lead. Buffalo challenged the play for offsides, but it was later deemed a good goal after the review.

3rd Period

Victor Olofsson (10) - Kyle Okposo (8) & Sam Reinhart (11) - 16:19

Similar to last game, the Rangers got a little too comfortable playing defense, and Buffalo was able to tie the game again late in the third period. In nearly identical fashion, the Rangers let the play come out of the corner, and left a forward wide open in the high slot. Victor Olofsson was in a perfect position to let a heavy wrist shot go, and he sniped another shot past the glove hand of Shesterkin. The goal would hold up as the game-tying goal and we headed to extra time to decide the winner.

Overtime

No scoring.

Shootout

The extra frame solved nothing on the scoreboard, so we needed the skills competition to finally decide a winner. There was only one goal scored in the shootout, and that came courtesy of Tage Thompson in the second round. Both goaltenders played phenomenal, and Linus Ullmark was able to make one final stop on Kaapo Kakko to give Buffalo a 3-2 victory.

Losing to the worst team in the league certainly stings, especially with the way the Rangers played in the third period. Once you get to the shootout, anything could happen and New York certainly found that out the hard way. Following tonight’s tough loss, the Rangers will head back home as they start a two-game set against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday evening.