The Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers kicked off 2018 with the 10th annual NHL Winter Classic at Citi Field on Sunday afternoon.
After rallying to erase a two-goal deficit, the Sabres fell to New York in overtime as J.T. Miller scored on a power play to cap the Rangers’ 3-2 victory.
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) January 1, 2018
Jack Eichel nearly had the win seconds earlier, but the pass from Sam Reinhart was just a bit off target. Reinhart tallied Buffalo’s first goal of the game, and Rasmus Ristolainen scored the other.
— The Charging Buffalo (@TheChargingBUF) January 1, 2018
Playing in just their second outdoor game the Sabres struggled early on, surrendering an early 2-0 lead. Paul Carey opened the scoring for the Rangers, and Michael Grabner added another just a few minutes later.
Still, Robin Lehner was strong in goal once again, stopping 39 of 42 shots. Despite the team’s record Lehner has been putting together strong performances, especially at the KeyBank Center.
Lehner came up with a big stop against Michael Grabner on a short-handed breakaway early in the second period. Shortly after the other way, the Sabres cashed in on that power play as Reinhart found the net.
Buffalo didn’t back against a potential playoff team and they got a point out of it. That doesn’t mean much in terms of the standings, but Phil Housley and his club are starting to make some strides.
“I think in the last month and a half or so, we’ve played a lot better. We decided that enough was enough and we are really buying in. We still have some steps to make, but we’re trending in the right direction.” – Kyle Okposo
“We responded in the right way. … You can see the confidence growing in our guys.” -Housley