Two goals eight seconds apart in the third period dashed any hopes of a Sabres comeback and Buffalo ended their seven-game homestand with a miserable 6-2 loss to the New York Rangers.
Jeff Skinner’s two-goal performance was all the offense the Sabres could muster and some sloppy play throughout the game dashed any hopes of Buffalo grabbing the important 2 points.
“It’s a tough league and you have to bring it every night. You can’t have lapses for five minutes and 10 minutes a game and it’s sort of been the theme this year and to give a chance for a team to carry the play, the odds aren’t good for you to dig yourself out of that every night, so you have to keep working”- Jeff Skinner
The Sabres poor defensive play was evident from start to finish and it didn’t take the Rangers long to capitalize on it. At the 4:09 mark of the first, Boo Nieves wristed a shot past Linus Ullmark as a delayed penalty was called on Buffalo, giving N.Y. an early 1-0 lead.
The Sabres applied a little pressure midway through the period, but the Rangers again came at Buffalo and at the 14:03 mark of the period they upped the score to 2-0 on a goal from Jesper Fast.
Skinner did his best to keep the Sabres in the game, picking up his 35th goal of the season just 53 seconds into the second period. Strong work from Jason Pominville led to a pass from behind the net to Skinner who made no mistake bringing the Sabres to within one, 2-1.
Unfortunately, it took the Rangers less than a minute to regain their two-goal lead as Jimmy Vesey pushed the puck in between Ullmark and his left post giving the Rangers a 3-1 lead.
Skinner once again worked his magic as an ugly Sabres power play was winding down. Sam Reinhart did some tough work in the corner and chopped the puck out to Skinner who wristed a nice shot past Alexandar Georgiev for his 36th of the season. That would be as close as Buffalo could get.
A Ranger goal by Pavel Buchnevich and two goals by Vladislav Namestnikov (including an empty-netter) were more than enough as the N.Y. ran away with the game.
Next up for the Sabres is a Sunday evening tilt with the New Jersey Devils. The game is set for 6:00 PM at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.