Game Wrap-ups

Rangers dominate Sabres in another laugher

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

This was the first shot of Skapski's pro career.
This was the first shot of Skapski’s pro career.

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

Good bounce for Hags.
Good bounce for Hags.

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

How not to backcheck.
How not to backcheck.

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

How not to backcheck, part 2.
How not to backcheck, part 2.

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

Typical Sabres
Typical Sabres

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.

Scoring Chances

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More domination.

Yup, still bad.

Individual Shot Attempts For/Corsi

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Not a single Ranger in the negative.

Still bad.

Shot Locations

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Solid defense, protecting their rookie netminder.

Boy is this ugly.

Shift Chart

Typical AV matchups
Typical AV matchups

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.

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5 Comments

  1. Opening face off, both defensemen went into the corner, out of position, and they score on the first shot of the game. Skapsky had to be shaking in his skates to begin with, then that goal happens, the kid had to be so nervous.

    Once Hags scored to tie the game, you know Skapski settled down, and played himself a pretty good game for himself. For the most part, given that Buffalo is so poor, the Rangers did play a good game behind the kid.

    My major disappointment was with the PP last night. We get an extended 5 on 3 PP and did nothing. Sorry folks, this is Buffalo we played last night. They are last in the PK, and we couldn’t score on a 5 on 3 for almost 2 minutes. Oh well, we’ll take the 2 points and run. Congratulations to Skapski, you did a decent job for us last night!!!!!

  2. Again, another case of, “Oh well, we’ll take the 2 points and run.” Don’t get me wrong, they did what they had to do. That’s all! It was basically a scrimmage; against a crap team. Give Skapski credit; at least he didn’t get so nervous that he threw up on the ice.. But I think a lounge chair could have been in goal last night and you’d have the same result. As the deadline nears, I’m starting to believe that if a deal for a reliable 6th dman doesn’t happen, this team is going to suffer. Also, is Boyle ever going to show that he can still do anything on the PP? Isn’t that what he was brought here for? I know he was brought in for the Playoffs, but c’mon, show something! Even with the wins, I’m not feeling really confident that team will make any noise in the Playoffs unless some issues are dealt with at the deadline.

    1. Agree that the team needs a D. Specifically a righty D. I am not sold on Boyle either and am still missing Stralman. Since that’s water under the bridge what about the kid Gudbranson in FLA. They need offense and we need defense. FLA is loaded w/ young 1st round D, Gudbranson plays 2nd pair minutes and could he be expendable?

      Who do we give up though? FLA would need a forward(s) and I’d guess it would take a solid roster player, plus a prospect. So I thought about Hags, Zucc and Kreider and then I stopped thinking about Gudbranson. I am not trading them.

      Any other ideas? Miller and Lindberg? I don’t want to trade either of them either. In fact all I want to trade nobody would want. Talking Stemp, Glass, Borque, Kristo and other riff raff.

      Tough call. I love this team but I don’t love the Stralman for Boyle situation.

      1. I think the only chips that Sather might/will use at the deadline are Miller, Moore, McIraith, Kristo(?) and some prospects and draft choices. I don’t see them making a big deal anymore, unless they know more about Hank’s injury then they’re letting on. In that case, they would have to address that, and everything else they might have wanted to do would be on the back burner. I think a defenseman is the target. Sekera is my choice. Right now the price is probably too high. But at the deadline, Moore and a 2nd rounder might get the job done. As for Stralman, I still don’t believe that he would have had anymore of an impact on this team offensively as he had last season. The coach never seemed too impressed with him, and I dont think he would have see more offensive minutes than last year.

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