How far will the Rangers get this season?

Free Fallin'
Rangers lose to Sabres 3 - 2

Photo by Dave Perlmutter

Photo by Dave Perlmutter

In the battle for New York, the Rangers are now sitting in the bottom of the barrel.

As their counterparts from the north exhibited last night, the Rangers just don't have the same level of compete necessary to be a playoff team. Buffalo played a solid road game, smart defensively and capitalizing on the Rangers mistakes.

And, despite the tied game going into the third period, the Rangers couldn't muster a goal against a team that defeated the Detroit Red Wings the night before.

Buffalo opened the scoring with a goal by Derek Roy at 6:28. Thomas Vanek backhanded a shot toward the crease and with some traffic in front of Henrik Lundqvist, Roy tipped in a shot to give Buffalo a 1 - 0 lead.

But one facet of the Rangers game was improved last night, their power play. Having plateaued over the past month, Marian Gaborik found some space and led the Rangers on the man advantage.

Ryan Callahan tied the game with a PPG off a pass from Gaborik at 10:22. Gaborik and Kotalik played give-and-go before Callahan called for the puck, open in the slot, and roofed a snap shot over Ryan Miller.

Nearly two minutes later, Gaborik would give the Rangers a 2 - 1 lead with a PPG of his own. After some nifty puck movement with Mike Del Zotto and Vinny Prospal, Gaborik cut into the slot uncontested and ripped a wrist shot off the far post.

But that was as far as the Rangers would get.

With about five minutes remaining in the period, the Rangers failed to clear the puck on several opportunities and began to scramble. Buffalo continued to throw the puck at the net.

Jochen Hecht took a slap shot from the point which hit Lundqvist high, but was unable to control the rebound. Patrick Kaleta found the loose puck and buried it in the open net to tie the game.

After a scoreless second period, Kaleta would tally again, this time with the game winner.

With the Rangers on the power play and about six minutes remaining in the period, a pass around the boards to the point bounced over Ales Kotalik's stick and Kaleta broke in on the breakaway.

Lundqvist came out to challenge, but Kaleta didn't bother with a fancy move, opting instead for a rifle of a wrist shot into the high corner.

3 - 2 Sabres and it would remain that way until the final buzzer.

Another one for the loss column and another step further from the playoffs.

And don't look now, but the other New York team is also ahead of the Rangers. Facing a critical home-at-home this week, the Islanders have taken their underdog mentality and rallied together to put out a decent product on the ice.

So the battle is increasingly uphill for the Rangers, looking at 11 teams above them in the standings and without much positive play to fall back on.


Posted by Dan Akeson | December 13, 2009 at 01:36 pm

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New York Rangers VS Chicago Blackhawks
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

  1 2 3 OT F
Rangers 3 0 0 - 3
Blackhawks 1 1 0 - 2

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