Sabres head to MSG to take on Rangers

The Buffalo Sabres (21-49-9) are only three games away from ending their worst season in franchise history. On Thursday, the Sabres will travel to New York City and take on the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

The Sabres are coming off of a 4-2 loss Tuesday night at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings. The Sabres did get some players back from injuries like Chris Stewart, Marcus Foligno, and Torrey Mitchell. Although they were back in the lineup, the Sabres were significantly rusty and could not keep up with the Red Wings, who have just clinched a playoff birth for the 23rd consecutive season.

Zemgus Girgensons led the Sabres on Tuesday with two goals, and has earned some high praise from his head coach Ted Nolan for his play.

[Girgensons] plays the game right. If there is one thing our team can learn is just to watch the way he plays all the time,” Nolan said. “He is by far out best player on the ice. Why? Because he works both ends of the ice, he competes, he plays with some passion, and all those things that good players do.”

The Sabres have already claimed their place in the basement of the National Hockey League, and are guaranteed one of the top two picks in the NHL Draft in June.

For the Rangers, they have already punched their ticket to the playoffs. Thursday will be the first of two remaining games on the schedule for the Rangers before the playoffs begin on Wednesday.

The Sabres are injured all over the ice, and many of them will miss the rest of the season. Tyler Myers was announced by Nolan that he would miss the remainder of the season with his upper-body injury. Nathan Lieuwen (concussion), Chad Ruhwedel (concussion), Jhonas Enroth (knee), Michal Neuvirth (lower-body), and Alex Sulzer (upper-body) are expected to miss the remainder of the regular season along with Myers. Drew Stafford could make his return to the lineup on Thursday from an undisclosed injury. Zenon Konopka is still dealing with back spasms, while Henrik Tallinder is nursing a lower-body injury. Both players are not known if they will return to the lineup in New York, but could return for the weekend.

For the Rangers, both Chris Kreider (hand) and Ryan McDonagh (shoulder) are out for the last two games for the Rangers, but both are expected back for the playoffs.

Matt Hackett is going to be the Sabres goaltender for the three games left in the regular season, while Henrik Lundqvist will most likely get his last start before the playoffs for the Rangers.

Opening face-off from the Garden is expected to be at 7pm. The game will be broadcasted on MSG Network and WGR 550 AM.

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