This post title should seem familiar, as the New York Rangers dominated the Buffalo Sabres in another laugher, this time by a score of 3-1. The Sabres actually jumped out to an early lead, as the first shot MacKenzie Skapski faced was from the slot from a wide open Matt Moulson, and there wasn’t much Skapski could do from there. Following that, the Rangers really focused on their defensive play, pinning the Sabres in their own zone for the majority of the game.
As for the scoring, the top line for the Rangers did most of the work. Rick Nash contributed a goal and an assist, Derick Brassard had two assists, and Mats Zuccarello scored a goal in the win. The third line of Carl Hagelin, Kevin Hayes, and J.T. Miller also remained hot, scoring a goal in this one.
While the score may not be indicative of a laugher, the Sabres were never really in this game. They got the quick goal, but the Rangers absolutely dominated the game.
On to the goals:
Sabres 1, Rangers 0
The Rangers turned the puck over in the defensive zone to Torrey Mitchell, who quickly found Moulson in front for the early lead. Not much Skapski could do on this one.
Rangers 1, Sabres 1
Dan Boyle flipped the puck out of the zone, and as Rasmus Ristolainen dropped to block the puck, Brian Gionta tipped the puck in mid air. This allowed the puck to bounce passed Ristolainen to Hags for the breakaway.
Rangers 2, Sabres 1
This picture really says it all about Buffalo. They just didn’t even try to backcheck on this goal by Nash. Marc Staal gained the zone, dropped to Derick Brassard, who had a wide open lane to Nash, who one-timed it through Neuvirth.
Rangers 3, Sabres 1
Brass picked up the loose puck in the defensive zone, and broke out with Nash. Brass banked the pass off the boards behind Nash, and the ricochet sprung him for a mini breakaway. Nash hit the post, but no one picked up the trailer Zucc, who put it into the empty net.
Unblocked shot attempts (USAT)/Fenwick Chart
Quick note: I’m going to combine the NHL.com stat names with the old stat names for the time being.
Boy the Sabres are bad.
Yup, still bad.
Individual Shot Attempts For/Corsi
Boy is this ugly.
Alain Vigneault didn’t have many chances to matchup much without last change, but as per usual, Dan Girardi/Ryan McDonagh got the top line for the Sabres. Kevin Klein and Marc Staal got the second line, also expected. AV is big on his matchups, so these shift charts don’t change too often.
The Rangers needed these two points, since this was one of their games in hand on the Isles, Caps, and Pens. They beat a bad team that they needed to beat.
Congratulations to MacKenzie Skapski on his first NHL win.