New York Rangers, Mats Zuccarello
Photo by Bergen Record

Where do Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers turn now after allowing the lowly Buffalo Sabres to knock them off at MSG?

  • New York Rangers 3 (43-26-9)
  • Buffalo Sabres 4 (33-35-11)
  • NHL, Final, Box Score
  • Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

With yet another chance to clinch a spot in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, on a day the Pittsburgh Penguins did so for the 10th straight season, Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers got beat 4-3 by the rebuilding Buffalo Sabres.

The night started miserably. Not once, not twice, but three times Buffalo beat Henrik Lundqvist within the first 20:46 of the game. Ryan O’Reilly tallied the first two.

Hank was so bad (especially in the area of rebound control), that Alain Vigneault went right to Antti Raanta after the third goal from Zemgus Girgensons just 46 seconds into the second frame.

From the start, Lundqvist seemed extremely off his game. The same could be said for Kevin Klein.

New York didn’t get on the board until Kevin Hayes responded just a couples minutes after Buffalo’s third goal, assisted by Eric Staal and Jesper Fast:

The Rangers comeback didn’t start until Buffalo scored again later in the second to make the score feel hopeless at 4-1.

J.T. Miller found himself in the right place for his 22nd goal of the season, thanks to a perfectly missed shot by Ryan McDonagh, late in the second period:

Then, the combination of Chris Kreider and Derek Stepan put one past Chad Johnson just under five minutes into the third period to cut the deficit to just one:

At 12:12 of the third, the MSG crowd really found itself in a frenzy once it was realized that the Sabres took two minor penalties simultaneously, providing the Blueshirts with a golden 5-on-3 opportunity.


It failed, and so did the Rangers chance of clinching a playoff berth with a point gained tonight.

The Pittsburgh Penguins – who destroyed the New York Islanders 5-0 earlier in the day – are now three points clear of the Rangers (with NYR now incredibly having one game in hand). The Isles are two points back of the Rangers with both teams having already played 77 games.

Where the Rangers turn from here is anybody’s best guess, but losing back-to-back games to the very mediocre Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes is the last thing needed during a playoff push.

Next up will be the Blue Jackets in Columbus on Monday night.


NEXT: Really Blueshirts’ Fans? Really? Let’s Not Lose Our Heads Here

Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]