This will be the second of three meetings between the Sabres and Rangers this season. The Rangers took the first meeting 2-0 on October 31st.
The Rangers come into town with their own share of struggles; going 5-5-0 in their last 10 games. Having just resigned their hallmark goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers will look to find consistency in their play.
They have been unable to win three games in a row since early November, and have fallen to .500 after their most recent contest. The Rangers, who are typically thought of as one of the powerhouse teams have struggled to adapt to the new playing system under Head Coach Alain Vigneault.
Although they have struggled it has not been for a lack of effort from the goaltenders. Cam Talbot, the backup to Hank, has been stellar when he has played. He has played nine games thus far and has won six, all while holding onto a 1.79 GAA and a .934 SV% 3rd and 5th in the league, respectively.
As for Lundqvist; he has missed the past couple of games but looks to be back in net tonight against the Sabres after signing a massive 7 year, 59.5 million dollar contract.
While the Rangers have struggled to find consistency, the Sabres have struggled to find anything. They rank last in the league in goals for, at 1.61. Over the long break for the Sabres between games Interim Head Coach Nolan has been stressing the importance of skating and cleaning up the defensive zone,
Two things that were heavily worked on and monitored during the practices this week. The Sabres will look to Matt Moulson to continue to produce, as he had goals against Toronto and Montreal last week. The Sabres will need more than some veteran leadership to win games and have been addressing that by giving their young guns, specifically Luke Adam a chance.
Through five games Adam has one goal and is an even on the plus/minus sheet. Buffalo will be without d-man Alex Sulzer due to an undisclosed injury, however Cody McCormick will be back after missing the previous four contests. Matt D’Agostini missed yesterday’s practice however Nolan is confident that the forward will be good to go against the Rangers tonight.
Be sure to visit Sabres Hockey Central during the game while we go live with a new feature. Tune in to have a live chat about the game with Kevin and Ryan.
Puck drops tonight at 7 p.m. The game can be watched on MSG, MSG-B, and Bell TV for the fans north of the border. As always the game can be heard live on WGR550. The Sabres will be sporting their yellow 3rd jerseys tonight as well.