Main storyline: The Sabres hit the road for the start of a four game road trip as they pay a visit to Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Rangers.
Season series: It’s the first of three meetings between the Rangers and Sabres this season, and the only one at MSG. The last time these two teams met, New York edged out Buffalo with a 2-1 victory on April 10th, 2014.
Where they stand: It’s been an interesting season when you look at the Metropolitan division and see the Rangers in fourth place and the Islanders battling for first. The Rangers are nine points out of first place. Buffalo sit in eighth, falling further behind in the Atlantic division as they are now six points behind the seventh-placed Ottawa Senators.
Recent performance: The Sabres have struggled as of late, and are coming off a 2-0 defeat to the Florida Panthers on Friday night. They’ve dropped three consecutive games and are 3-6-1 in their past 10. The Rangers have been rolling, winning nine of their last 10 games and are finding ways to win.
Buffalo notes: The Sabres are trying to break their recent slump and have a tough task tonight. Despite Michal Neuvirth allowing just two goals in Friday’s game, head coach Ted Nolan said the Sabres have to play a full 60 minute game.
“We’re not shooting enough, the effort was there in the 2nd and 3rd but we blew the game in the 1st,” Ted Nolan said. “He held the fort for us pretty well, he gave us a chance.”
Opponent notes: The Rangers come into this game with a 12-5-3 record on home ice and will be tough to beat. Rick Nash leads the team in scoring with 23 goals and 36 points. New York are averaging three goals a game. They’re coming off a 5-2 win against the Panthers.
“This is an important game,” Henrik Lundqvist said. “This is a team that we’re battling against in the standings. It was important to win for that reason, but also to bounce back right away with a win. That’s important if you want to stay in the top half of the standings; we need to bounce back right away after a loss. It doesn’t matter how many games you won before that. You need to come back to basics and play a solid game. That’s what we did. You could see our confidence was there.”
Conclusion: The Sabres look to start off their four game road trip on a positive note as they visit Madison Square Garden for the first meeting of the season against the Rangers.