The New York Rangers were able to bounce back after a Sunday afternoon loss to the Boston Bruins, and they defeated the Buffalo Sabers 3-2 tonight at Madison Square Garden. Pavel Buchnevich and Alexis Lafrenière put New York on the board early in the game, and were able to close out the Sabers with a solid defensive effort in the third period. Igor Shesterkin started in goal tonight for the Blueshirts, and made several jaw-dropping saves to keep the Rangers ahead in the game.
Pavel Buchnevich (6) – Mika Zibanejad (5) and Adam Fox (10) – 0:28
It didn’t take long for the Rangers to expose the Buffalo Sabers, who were caught sleeping 28 seconds into the game. Despite all the criticism surrounding Mika Zibanejad, he began the entire sequence with a beautiful exit pass to Pavel Buchnevich, who flew past Rasmus Dahlin. Buchnevich was bullied when he broke into Carter Hutton all the time, but was able to fight the check and fire a shot under the bar.
Sam Reinhart (8) – Victor Olofsson (9) and Jack Eichel (13) – 0:55
As soon as the Rangers opened the scoring, Buffalo responded just over 20 seconds later when Sam Reinhart recorded his eighth goal of the season. The Sabers were able to catch the transitioning Rangers through the neutral zone and capitalized on the 2v1 run to the offensive zone. K’Andre Miller did not realize that his defensive partner was trapped in the ice and approached Victor Olofsson in an attempt to make a play on the puck. Unfortunately, that left Sam Reinhart alone in the middle of the ice, and a quick pass from Olofsson tied the game at 1-1.
Alexis Lafrenière (3) – Pavel Buchnevich (9) – 2:36
Lafrenière-Zibanejad-Buchnevich in his second turn of the game, wins his second goal of the game. Zibanejad forces a rotation, Buchnevich makes the play and the puck comes out of Lafrenière. #NYR pic.twitter.com/irIFJRPD8g
– Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) March 3, 2021
The pace during the two open minutes continued to be fast and furious, and the Rangers found the lead goal at the 2:36 mark of the period. Pavel Buchnevich made an incredible individual play to create space at the top of the area, stepped up to the goalkeeper and launched a shot on goal. Alexis Lafrenière had already headed to the front of the net, and the puck ended up deflecting off his right leg to restore the Rangers’ one-goal lead.
Chris Kreider (10) – Ryan Lindgren (8) and Adam Fox (11) – 9:32
Just before the middle of the second period, Chris Kreider gave the Rangers an insurance score to make it 3-1. The play itself was relatively harmless as the Rangers regrouped in the defensive zone and Ryan Lindgren broke Chris Kreider’s puck. Kreider entered the zone on his own and chose to generate a shot on goal when his teammates entered the zone. To everyone’s surprise, Carter Hutton completely forgot the routine attempt to save with the glove and Kreider scored his 10th goal of the season.
Tobias Rieder (4) – Rasmus Ristolainen (5) and Rasmus Dahlin (8) – 16:21
With just under four minutes remaining in the middle frame, the Sabers were able to catch a lucky rebound off the net. Rasmus Ristolainen’s point shot was deflected in front by Tobias Rieder and flipped Igor Shesterkin. The deflection happened so quickly that no one realized the puck had initially entered the net, and the Sabers were able to turn it into a one-goal game before the third period.
The Rangers’ offense started early in this game, and they were able to control most of the game over the Sabers. Defensively, the Rangers went big in the third period to defend their one-goal lead, and got timely saves from Igor Shesterkin. Overall, it was a complete effort from start to finish and the Rangers were able to correct their mistakes from Sunday afternoon.
Following tonight’s victory at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers will embark on a six-game road trip with a pair of games against the New Jersey Devils, Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins beginning Thursday night at the Prudential Center. .