NY Rangers Game 65: Rangers at Buffalo

The Rangers powerplay struggles go far beyond basic shooting percentage.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 22: Chris Kreider #20 of the New York Rangers (r) celebrates his second goal of the game at 5:47 of the third period on the powerplay against Dustin Tokarski #31 of the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden on March 22, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Rangers escaped Montreal with a win on Thursday, mostly because Montreal isn’t good, and now face a much better Sabres team fighting for their playoff lives. Buffalo made some moves at the deadline to bolster their roster, as they still have an outside chance of making the playoffs. Their 4-6-0 record in their last 10 games hasn’t helped, but they are still mathematically in it for now, and will play as such.

Let it be known that should the Rangers play like they did in Montreal, Buffalo will steamroll them. Remember, this is a team coming off an embarrassing 10-4 loss to Dallas on Thursday. They will want to rebound in a big way, and knocking off a struggling Rangers team still trying to find chemistry is a good way to do it.

As for the Blueshirts, they need to find that chemistry this weekend or face more line changes. Missing (as of the writing of this post) Lindgren and potentially Motte hurts, but it shouldn’t impact the forwards too much. They’ve been unable to generate sustained offense, and while the powerplay and goaltending seem to have returned, they need to figure it out at even strength. Every game is now a test to see what works.

Sabres Lines

Jeff Skinner-Tage Thompson-Jordan Greenway
JJ Peterka-Dylan Cozens-Jack Quinn
Casey Middlestadt-Tyson Jost-Victor Olofsson
Zemgus Girgensons-Peyton Krebs-Kyle Okposo

Rasmus Dahlin-Mattias Samuelsson
Owen Power-Henri Jokiharju
Riley Stillman-Ilya Lyubushkin

U.P. Luukkonen gets the start.

Rangers Lines (presumed)

Chris Kreider-Mika Zibanejad-Patrick Kane
Artemi Panarin-Vincent Trocheck-Vladimir Tarasenko
Alexis Lafreniere-Filip Chytil-Kaapo Kakko
Tyler Motte-Barclay Goodrow-Jimmy Vesey

Niko Mikkola-Adam Fox
K’Andre Miller-Jacob Trouba
Ben Harpur-Braden Schneider

Igor Shesterkin gets the start.

Injuries: Ryan Lindgren (shoulder)

Crazy Prediction: Kane and Tarasenko with 3 points each

Game time is 5pm.