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Game 81: Home finale against Buffalo

Frank Franklin II/AP

Frank Franklin II/AP

The Rangers play their final home game tonight, as the lowly Buffalo Sabres come to town. A win tonight can clinch at least a #3 seed in the Metropolitan Division, ensuring the Rangers avoid the Penguins until the second round, and the Bruins until the Conference Finals. The Rangers can clinch the #2 seed and home ice against the Flyers in the first round with a win and a loss by the Flyers in regulation in Tampa Bay.

Ted Nolan has the Sabres running a 1-2-2 forechecking system and try to shut down the middle of the ice. For the defensive zone system, he has them playing the low-zone collapse pretty much exclusively. On special teams, the Sabres run an umbrella power play and a wedge+1 penalty kill.

Rangers Lineup:

Offense

Martin St. Louis-Derek Stepan-Rick Nash
Carl Hagelin-Brad Richards-Jesper Fast
Benoit Pouliot-Derick Brassard-Mats Zuccarello
Brian Boyle-Dominic Moore-Derek Dorsett

Defense

John Moore-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Anton Stralman
Raphael Diaz-Kevin Klein

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Scratches/Injuries: Chris Kreider (hand), Ryan McDonagh (shoulder), Ryan Haggerty (healthy), Dan Carcillo (healthy) Justin Falk (healthy)

Game time is 7pm on MSG. Don’t forget to check out our Rangers Tickets link for deals to attend games.

"Game 81: Home finale against Buffalo", 5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings.

15 Responses to “Game 81: Home finale against Buffalo”

  1. Chris F says:

    FINISH HIM!

  2. Tim B says:

    Moore on 1st D pairing? I guess it is readonable.

    • Chris F says:

      With McD out, they don’t seem to want to move Staal up and lose that defensive spread on all 3 pairings (Girardi, Staal, Klein).

  3. Walt says:

    With a cellar dweller coming in tonight, let’s hope the guys play this game with some intensity, and not take these guys lightly!!

  4. Chris. C says:

    Whats up with all these’s slow starts to the last several games?

    • Chuck A says:

      not wanting to upstage Matthew Broderick

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      Probably hard to get up for the Carolinas and Buffalos of the world. Need to get it back though, can’t afford to lose this one.

  5. Rangers Fan in Boston says:

    Much better period. Nice way to cap it off with the BP goal.

    • Chris F says:

      Although, I must say, though they looked better, the 18-1 shot differential looks better than it was. Rangers still looked sloppy in the offensive zone, passes and positioning are way off.

      MSL is useless over on the left side. And he really needs to sink one of his signature one – timers from the right face-off dot. That’s about 12 I’ve seen him shank wide since he came over to NY.

      I was really hoping for a statement game tonight. 2 more minutes, they need to finish strong.

  6. Spozo says:

    Nash tied with Rangers franchise record for game winning goals. He’s probably going to get criticized for his numbers this year but that’s a great stat column to be at the top of.

  7. Bloomer says:

    New York Bluesmurfs win a squeaker over the dismal Sabers…..yay

    • LFOD Bleeding Blue in NH says:

      Yup, that’s a great takeaway from tonight. One of the famous blueshirt “fans”.

    • Spozo says:

      That’s a great outlook to take away from going 9-2-1 in the last 12 and securing home ice advantage in round 1 and letting the next game in Montreal not be a must win so they can rest some players or let players like Kreider/McDonagh play a not so important game to get their timing back. Runon on sentence but I don’t care.

  8. Chris F says:

    Not the best showing for the Rangers tonight, but 2 points is 2 points and with the win they’ve clinched home ice in the 1st round.

    Interestingly Philly and Columbus now both stand at 91 points with 2 games remaining. Philly faces Pittsburgh and Carolina, Columbus faces Tampa Bay and Florida. It’s a crap shoot at this point whether it’s NY/Philly or NY/CBJ.

    Both could be real fun.

    Which does everyone prefer?