Game Wrap-ups

Namestnikov notches two goals, assist in blowout win over Buffalo

The Rangers came to play last night. Their top line wasn’t needed in this one, as it was all secondary and tertiary scoring for the Rangers and their six goals. The Blueshirts jumped out to a two goal lead in the first courtesy of Boo Nieves and Jesper Fast. Jimmy Vesey added the eventual game winner in the second, and Pavel Buchnevich and Vlad Namestnikov added the insurance in the third.

Alex Georgiev stopped 31 of 33 shots in the win, another solid performance for the young netminder in which he had to make several difficult stops. The Rangers did lose Brady Skjei though, so it’s not all hunky-dory for the Blueshirts. Despite the decision to play 11 forwards (including Connor Brickley) and seven defensemen, the Rangers still came out on top.

Rangers 1, Sabres 0

The Rangers actually lost this faceoff, but Marco Scandella made the worst clearing attempt I’ve ever seen. Kevin Shattenkirk easily kept this in and put the puck on net. Connor Brickley got a whack, then Brendan Smith got a diving whack. Then Nieves was there to take the loose puck in the high slot and put it over Linus Ullmark.

Rangers 2, Sabres 0

Namestnikov had himself a shift here. He did a great job protecting the puck and straddling the blue line before finding Tony DeAngelo in the corner. DeAngelo got it right back to Namesnikov at the point for the shot. Fast cut to the high slot for the screen and deflection. I don’t really see a breakdown by the Sabres on defense here, just good puck movement by the Rangers.

Rangers 2, Sabres 1

Jason Pominville took the puck away from Marc Staal behind the net and very quickly found Jeff Skinner in front for the goal. Skinner was uncovered because the Rangers were in the middle of transitioning to offense and the quick turnover/pass in front gave no recovery time.

Rangers 3, Sabres 1

Buchnevich is pretty good at this hockey thing, eh? He forces the turnover here from Pilut, then fights off the defender –also Pilut– to one-hand the pass in front to Vesey, who buries it.

Rangers 3, Sabres 2

This was good puck movement by the Sabres on the powerplay, including a second or two when they recovered the puck from Brendan Smith’s skates. Smith was never able to get his stick on the puck, and Sam Reinhart was able to poke the puck to the slot for Skinner with all day to shoot.

Rangers 4, Sabres 2

Kevin Hayes with the takeaway. Kevin Hayes playing keep away. Kevin Hayes with the beautiful fake shot pass to Buchnevich for the tap-in goal.

Rangers 5, Sabres 2

This was not the best play by Ullmark. He gift Namestnikov his first goal here, just 8 seconds after Buchnevich gave the Rangers some insurance.

Rangers 6, Sabres 2

Namestnikov empty netter.

Shot Heatmap

The Blueshirts got most of their goals from the slot area, so they were crashing the net a lot. As for Buffalo, they certainly got a good amount of attempts from in front, but also took a bunch of chances from the left point. Just something interesting.

The Blueshirts aren’t helping their draft position with the wins, but the wins are fun to watch. The Rangers get to play spoiler again against the struggling Penguins during prime time on Sunday afternoon. I keep wondering when the trades will be made, but now I’m wondering if they will be made.

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  • “The Post has learned that general manager Jeff Gorton is now engaged in an ongoing dialogue with the agents for pending free agents Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes as the Blueshirts weigh extending the contracts of two of their best players against the return they might get for either or both on the market.”

    • This team needs to keep Zucc just on principle alone but there are also numerous other reasons.

      Get the haul for Hayes and if he wants to come back then we can see how he fits after the draft and the draft dealing is all done.

    • This is the right move by management, not so much because I want us to extend either player (I don’t), but it could help us in trade negotiations. Goes back to what I said yesterday about not announcing your intentions to the world – if GMs know we’re not resigning 13 or 36, we have less leverage. Still believe the better move is to trade them and others — and build around Mika, Kreids, Chytil and Buch, along with a handful of prospects we’ve recently drafted/acquired. (And for Tanto’s sake, i suppose we can keep Tony D too.)

  • Was this team ever really in full tank mode? I’m probably more confused now than ever. ?‍♂️

    • The character of our players won’t allow that (and I’m not sure why some people thought it would) — say what you want about the talent level on this team, these guys work hard, have a lot of pride and are better than we sometimes think.

  • Dave you get a -1 for not even mentioning Tony D’s one punch knock down of Okposo — best moment in a game full of good ones. πŸ˜‰

    Rangers should lock up Tony D long term NOW before he gets too expensive. He’s brimming with talent, he’s pesky/feisty as hell and his defense really isn’t bad at all (to the contrary, it’s been pretty good). He’s really improving. If he had a real good shot the kid “could be” pretty close to elite down the line. Immaturity you say? He’ll grow out of it, just hope he doesn’t lose that piss and vinegar.

        • The kid is very talented but he’s also nuts. He could go on a 3 state killing spree because his beloved Philly teams didn’t win.

          Does the league have a clause in the CBA for such possibilities?

          • I don’t see all this crazy … as long as he wants to be a Ranger I say sign him — 5, 6, 7, 8 years, whatever works capwise. Now’s the time, not in a couple of years because the price will only go up and up (in my mind). Besides, every team needs a few “characters” and Tony D certainly fits that bill. πŸ˜‰ Oh and about rooting for Philly teams, we have quite a few nuts rooting for the Bahstan teams — guys who actually think Brady isn’t a cheater. πŸ˜‰

          • 5 to 8 years? NFW

            Love you pal but you get way too enamored with some of the Rangers.

            My sense is that Gorton will give out long-term contracts to proven talents and players. Hayes and DeAngelo ain’t it, and Zuc is too old for a long-term contract.

  • Good game overall. The Rangers eventually dismantle a Sabres team that has been pretty good this season but now look kind of soft. Georgiev was solid again. Getting regular starts helps that kid a great deal he looks much sharper these days. Buchevich is playing much better. Namestnikov finally gets some goals, good for him! Hayes had a nice game (I say keep him). DeAngelo was being DeAngelo. How can you not love that goofy kid? The team is more dynamic offensively when he is on the ice and he is someone with skill who is nonetheless willing to stick up for his team mates. Of course he’s crazy but that is just who he is!

    For better or worse, there is no tank in this team.

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