New York Rangers Marc Staal
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers are back in action tonight against the Buffalo Sabres, who they took care of business against earlier this month in the Winter Classic.

The New York Rangers (23-17-5, 51 points) are back in action tonight against the Buffalo Sabres (11-24-9, 31 points). The Rangers are coming off of a 5-1 drubbing of the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday, while the Sabres are coming off their bye week. They won their last game, 3-1 over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Lineup news

Henrik Lundqvist will get the start against the Sabres, the team announced on Twitter. He stopped 25-of-26 shots against the Flyer and stopped 31 of 33 shots against the Sabres during the Winter Classic, which the Rangers won. This will be his 39th appearance of the season.

Marc Staal will not play tomorrow, with Steven Kampfer taking his place in the lineup. Staal left the Flyers game with a hip flexor and is considered day-to-day. He has one goal and seven points in 45 games, while Kampfer has one assist in 16 games.

Kevin Hayes has not yet skated, so although he has not been ruled out for the game, it is unlikely that he returns to play. He is considered day-to-day. He has 10 goals and 18 points in 43 games this season, while being used as a shutdown defensive center.

If Hayes remains out Peter Holland is likely to stay in the lineup. Holland made his Rangers debut on Tuesday, recording an assist and a hit while winning six of his 16 faceoffs in 13:40 of ice time.

Players and coach speak to media

Head coach Alain Vigneault spoke to the media after practice. He offered injury updates on Hayes and Staal, as well as what he expected from Kampfer and what he saw in Rick Nash’s game on Tuesday.

Center Mika Zibanejad spoke about the importance of building on their victory against the Flyers, and that the win wouldn’t mean as much if they failed to build on it.

Captain Ryan McDonagh spoke about the team’s focus heading into tonight’s game against the Sabres.

Brady Skjei spoke about the team playing with a collective chip on their shoulders, and about continuing to move forward.

Other Rangers news, stories

  • ESNY’s Frank Curto breaks down how Vinni Lettieri can help the Rangers down the stretch.
  • ESNY’s Brandon Spreckels talks about how Henrik Lundqvist deserves more help than he’s gotten.
  • ESNY’s Robby Sabo takes the opposite position, arguing that fans shouldn’t feel bad for Lundqvist.
  • Adam Herman at Blueshirt Banter explains why the team needs to stock up on high draft picks to have a successful rebuild.
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