A battle for New York ensues on the Madison Square Garden ice tonight, albeit one featuring two squads that hope the war ends as soon as possible.
The New York Rangers continue to play out the final games of their 2018 home schedule, as they welcome in the Buffalo Sabres tonight (7:00 PM, MSG).
The Rangers (32-34-8) will look to end a three-game losing streak tonight. They’ve been competitive in each game, the margin of defeat being merely four in the past trio, but couldn’t stem the bleeding in a 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night. Jesper Fast continues to work wonders for the Rangers, as he scored two goals to extend a personal points streak to seven games, tying the longest for any Ranger this season. Mika Zibanejad also scored, putting in his 26th tally of the season. Zibanejad is seeking to become the first Rangers center to score 30 goals since Eric Lindros did in 2001-02.
Last in the Eastern Conference, the Sabres (23-39-12) are likewise nursing a three-game losing streak. They’ll be playing the second half of a back-to-back, as they fell 3-0 to the Montreal Canadiens last night. Linus Ullmark was admirable in net, stopping 21 of 22 shots before the Sabres let in two empty netters.
This is the final of three meetings between the Rangers and Sabres this season, with the Rangers looking to complete a season sweep. After winning 3-2 in overtime in the Winter Classic, the Rangers took a 4-3 decision at the previous MSG game on January 18. Pavel Buchnevich put in the game winning goal with just under four minutes remaining, while Henrik Lundqvist made 34 saves.
Alexander Georgiev is expected to make his fifth start in six games for the Rangers.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490