NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, November 11th (All times eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (5-9-2) at New York Rangers (7-7-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Buffalo Sabres will try to complete a perfect three- game road trip tonight, when they visit the New York Rangers for a test at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers, meanwhile, are expected to get star winger Marian Gaborik back tonight after he missed the previous 12 games with a separated left shoulder. Gaborik led New York in 2009-10 with 42 goals and 86 points.
"It's tough to watch, because the guys are working hard out there and there is nothing you can really do to help out," Gaborik told the Rangers website. "But I've tried to keep a positive attitude and now I am very excited to get back in there."
Buffalo has posted victories in Toronto and New Jersey, giving the Sabres' consecutive victories for the first time this season. Both of Buffalo's wins on this jaunt have come via the shootout and the Sabres pulled out a 5-4 decision against the Devils on Wednesday.
Derek Roy scored the decisive goal in the fourth round of the shootout at Prudential Center. After Roy beat New Jersey goaltender Johan Hedberg with a nifty backhander, Devils high-priced forward Ilya Kovalchuk never even attempted a shot on goal, losing control of the puck as he skated towards Buffalo netminder Jhonas Enroth.
Roy scored a goal in regulation and assisted on another, while Enroth finished with 28 saves. Jason Pominville and Tyler Ennis also scored for the Sabres.
"I thought we came out with a lot of fire," Roy said. "We got a lot of pucks to the net. We worked tremendously hard in our end and we capitalized on some opportunities. I thought our power play was great, Jhonas played great for us, it was a real team effort."
Tyler Myers registered a goal and two assists for Buffalo, which made Lindy Ruff a winner in the 1,000th regular-season game of his coaching career. He became 18th coach in NHL history to reach that milestone and only the third to do so with one team, joining Billy Reay (1,012 with Chicago) and Al Arbour (1,500 with the New York Islanders).
Enroth may get the start again tonight because Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller is still questionable to return from a lower-body injury suffered against Atlanta on October 29.
The Sabres are 5-3-1 as the visiting team this season and are still winless (0-6-1) on home ice. Buffalo's next game is at home against Washington on Saturday.
The Rangers will try to put the brakes on a two-game slide tonight. New York, which has also dropped three of four and five of its last eight contests, hasn't lost three in a row since an 0-2-1 stretch from October 11-18.
The Blueshirts are coming off Tuesday's home loss to the Washington Capitals, who scored the only two goals in the third period to take a 5-3 victory at MSG.
Brian Boyle scored twice for the Rangers and enforcer Derek Boogaard also added a rare goal -- his first NHL tally since 2006. Henrik Lundqvist finished with 19 saves for New York.
"We need to find a way to get more clutch goals, create more pressure and generate more scoring chances," said New York's Brandon Dubinsky.
Dubinsky will try to regain his scoring touch tonight for the Rangers. He has failed to record a point over the two games, but had four goals in his three previous contests.
The Rangers have dropped the first two tilts of a four-game homestand and are now just 2-5-1 as the host this year. New York will complete the residency Sunday afternoon against Edmonton.
New York posted a 6-3 win in Buffalo back on Oct. 9, earning just its third victory in the last nine meetings between the intrastate rivals. The Sabres have also taken two straight and three of their last four games in the Big Apple.
11/11 11:03:48 ET