The New York Rangers played the second game of their four-game road trip against Buffalo on Friday night, defeating the Sabres 6-2.
New York Rangers: 6
NYR Scorers: Nieves (3), Fast (8), Vesey (13), Buchnevich (11), Namestnikov (5), Namestnikov (6) Empty Net
Buffalo Sabres: 2
BUF Scorers: Skinner (35), Skinner (36)
Venue: KeyBank Arena
The New York Rangers came into Buffalo looking to get back in the win column after dropping their last game in Winnipeg. The Rangers came out fast and strong on the puck, taking an early 1-0 lead and never looking back while handily defeating the Buffalo Sabres by a final of 6-2.
The Blueshirts started the day by announcing the Rangers would again go with a lineup of seven defensemen and 11 forwards, which is a common occurrence as of late. The new part in the lineup saga was allowing recent call-up Connor Brickley ice time while Filip Chytil got scratched.
The Rangers were able to keep sustained pressure on the Sabres and, on goals by Boo Nieves and Jesper Fast, took a 2-0 lead into the first period. The Rangers recorded the first goal of the game for the fourth time in the last six contests.
Nieves scored on a high shot over the Buffalo netminder just 4:09 into the first stanza. Fast made it 2-0 on a deflection of a Vladislav Namestnikov shot and the Rangers played a consistent period of hockey, something David Quinn had yet to see from his young team.
The Rangers outshot the Sabres 12-11 in the period.
The Sabres wasted no time as they scored just 53 seconds into the second period to cut the Rangers’ lead in half. Jeff Skinner scored his 35th of the season before must of the fans at KeyBank Arena found their seats. The Sabres’ leading scorer found himself all alone in front of Alexandar Georgiev and buried a wrist shot past the Russian goalie.
Jimmy Vesey got the Rangers their two-goal lead back only 58 seconds later as he scored a goal off of a feed from Pavel Buchnevich. For Vesey, the goal was his 13th of the season. Vesey outmuscled the Sabres player trying to cover him and was able to get his stick on the puck to push it past Buffalo goalie Linus Ullmark giving the Rangers a 3-1 lead.
With just under four minutes left in the second, Jeff Skinner struck again, this time on the power play. Boo Nieves was whistled for delay of the game and the Buffalo sniper brought his team to within one goal as he scored his second of the game and 36th goal of the year.
The Rangers found themselves shorthanded again, an ongoing problem this season when defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk high-sticked Jeff Skinner in the face with 51 seconds remaining in the period.
The Rangers were able to hold off the Sabres from getting the tying power-play goal, yet they still had to kill the final 1:10 seconds to begin the third period.
The Blueshirts were able to hold off a strong Buffalo power play to start the third period as Georgiev faced two shots which included a great save from the right side from Jeff Skinner.
With 12:09 left, Kyle Okposo hit Mats Zuccarello from behind and Anthony DeAngelo came into stand up for Zucc. He squared off with Okposo and hit him with a right hook that instantly ended the fight. DeAngelo went to the box and Okposo headed to the locker room looking dazed.
At the four-minute mark of the game, Pavel Buchnevuch tapped in a fantastic pass/shot of the stick of Kevin Hayes to give the Blueshirts a big two-goal lead. The goal came as Buffalo was beginning to put the pressure trying to tie the game.
Eight seconds later, Namestnikov scored an easy one when the Buffalo goalie missed played the puck on a dump in as it ricochets in front of the empty net to the lurking Ranger. The Rangers now had a comfortable 5-2 lead.
Namestnikov scored an empty netter to give the Rangers a 6-2 win. He wound up with a three-point night, 2 goals and an assist along with a 31-save effort for Georgiev.
Boo Nieves finds the loose puck in the slot and beats Linus Ullmark up high, giving the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the first period.
Jesper Fast skates to the front of the net and redirects Vladislav Namestnikov‘s shot past Linus Ullmark to extend the Rangers’ lead to 2-0.
Jeff Skinner receives a pass from Jason Pominville and snaps a wrister past Alexandar Georgiev to get the Sabres on the board in the 2nd.
Pavel Buchnevich sends a one-handed pass from behind the net to Jimmy Vesey, who squeaks a shot past Linus Ullmark for a 3-1 Rangers lead.
Tony DeAngelo and Kyle Okposo square off because of this hit from Kyle on Mats Zuccarello. Mika Zibanejad says “okay Tony you take this one” ? pic.twitter.com/eokfRFnL44
— Rangers Report (@rangersreport) February 16, 2019