Rick Nash New York Rangers
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

It wasn’t easy for the New York Rangers on Thursday, but they buckled down when it mattered most to win their second game in a row. 

It was a rematch of the 2018 NHL Winter Classic as the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers faced off at Madison Square Garden Thursday night.

This game had a weird feel to it as no team really dominated it. Both teams had surges but the Rangers stepped up when it mattered most. The Rangers came out on top thanks to heroics from Rick Nash and Henrik Lundqvist. For the second game in a row, Nash would score twice and Pavel Buchnevich would pick up two points in the Rangers thrilling 4-3 victory.

Every time the Rangers seemed like they were pulling away, Buffalo came back. It kind of felt like the Winter Classic where the Rangers blew a 2-0 lead to win it in overtime. In this one, the Rangers blew the lead three times but never trailed.

The Blueshirts came out and built off of their 5-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers and right out of the gate it showed on the scoreboard.

Make that three goals in two games for the Nash who is notorious for being a streaky scorer throughout his career. The Rangers can only hope that these last two games are the beginning of a big streak and so far it looks like it is.

The Rangers continued to build off of that hot start as Buffalo was playing their first game after their bye week. But a turnover in the Rangers zone would change all of that and give Buffalo some life.

Despite a nice recovery from J.T. Miller, plays like these have cost the Rangers all season long. It didn’t tonight, but it woke up the Sabres and they would tie the game just two minutes later on a goal from Kyle Okposo.

The second period was a period that was back and forth, no one really had the edge of play. The Rangers had the upper hand early as they did in the first and this time J.T. Miller took advantage with a wicked shot. Miller scored the game-winning goal in the Rangers 3-2 win against Buffalo on January 1 at Citi Field.

After the Miller goal, this one kind of became a chippy game and no-one took control of play. But with 2:50 to go in the second the Rangers defense took a step in the wrong direction.

After a misplay along the boards, a simple shot from the point from former Ranger Justin Falk got past Lundqvist.

On the play, Brady Skjei just got a piece of Henrik Lundqvist that just moved him just a step out of position that allowed for the goal on a routine shot from the point.

In Tuesday’s win, Rick Nash scored two goals. In Thursday’s win over the Sabres, Nash scored two goals again much to the delight of Ranger fans.

But Buffalo would continue to fight and tie it once again on the powerplay where they scored twice in the game.

Pavel Buchnevich hasn’t seen the results lately, playing primarily on the fourth line. He was moved to the top line prior to Tuesday’s game and it has paid off. Buchnevich added three points Thursday including the game-winning goal.

Despite struggling in this one, the Rangers needed Lundqvist to come up with one more big save when it mattered most. They got that save and a 4-3 win.

After two disappointing games following the bye week, the Rangers have now won two in a row. They next head out for their west coast trip when they take on the Colorado Avalanche Saturday afternoon.

Dominick is a graduate of Canisius College. He has covered the Rangers for the last seven seasons and the Yankees for the last four.