NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, January 16th
(All times eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (19-18-6) at New York Rangers (21-20-5), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - It has been a while since the Buffalo Sabres posted a
victory. The New York Rangers haven't been much better as of late. One team
will find the win column tonight, as the two franchises are set to square off
at Madison Square Garden.
The Sabres were defeated in a shootout, 3-2, by New Jersey on Saturday, the
club's franchise-record ninth straight defeat. What has to be frustrating for
Buffalo is how close it is coming to victory. The Sabres have lost five games
via a shootout during their current skid, including each of their last three
Over the weekend, both Zach Parise and Patrik Elias managed to fake shots
against Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller before tucking the puck past him. Parise
scored on the forehand, while Elias slid a backhand shot between the
netminder's pads to win it for the Devils.
Meanwhile, New Jersey's Martin Brodeur was perfect in the shootout against two
Dan Paille had both goals for Buffalo, which played without injured regulars
Maxim Afinogenov (groin), Derek Roy (shoulder) and Tim Connolly (groin).
Defenseman Jaroslav Spacek was also sidelined due to back spasms.
Afinogenov is currently on injured reserve, while Connolly and Roy are both
doubtful for tonight's game. Spacek is questionable.
Paille is doing his best to pick up the slack, as he has three goals and five
assists over his last nine games. The 23-year-old has already skated in a
career-high 39 games this year and has a personal best in points with 19 (8
goals, 11 assists).
Miller ended with 23 saves on the night for the Sabres, who won the
Presidents' Trophy last year as the NHL's best team during the regular season.
The nine-game winless streak is the longest for Buffalo since going 0-10 with
two ties from October 25-November 19, 2002.
The Sabres, who haven't won since a 6-5 shootout win in Philadelphia on
December 22, are 8-10-4 on the road this year.
New York is also struggling, and finds itself last in the Atlantic Division
with 47 points. The Rangers have lost six of their last seven games, including
a 4-1 setback in Pittsburgh on Monday.
The Rangers failed to contain Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin, who posted his
second career hat trick in the Penguins' win.
Jaromir Jagr provided the lone goal for the Rangers, while Henrik Lundqvist
allowed three goals on 22 shots in the loss.
New York played without veteran forward Brendan Shanahan for the second
straight game while he heals from a knee injury suffered last week. Shanahan,
who is questionable for tonight, leads the Rangers with 15 goals and is fourth
on the team with 30 points.
Shanahan has 15 goals and 16 assists for 31 points in 34 career games against
The Rangers will look to improve on their 14-10-0 home record tonight before
returning to the road for a Saturday afternoon test in Boston.
The Sabres went 4-0 against New York last year and have won five of six and
nine of the previous 11 encounters with the Blueshirts. Buffalo has also
posted victories in five of its last six stops at MSG.
01/16 10:34:38 ET