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Rangers open home slate in Buffalo

The Rangers will go for their first win of the season against the Sabres, who are reeling from an opening night loss of their own.

A weekend road trip doubleheader starts tonight for the New York Rangers, who travel to Buffalo tonight to open their 2018-19 home slate against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Arena (7:00 p.m. ET, MSG).

The Rangers (0-1-0) fell in their season opener on Thursday at Madison Square Garden, but put up a strong showing against the defending Presidents’ Trophy winners, the Nashville Predators. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 30 shots for the Rangers, who managed to put 36 shots on Pekka Rinne, who stopped 34. Jesper Fast had the first goal of the season for the Rangers in the second period, sandwiched by scores from Filip Forsberg and PK Subban for the Predators. Despite some big chances for the Rangers in the late going, Colton Sissons wound up putting the game away for Nashville with an empty net score. Pavel Buchnevich did score for the Rangers shortly after, setting up a futile final push.

Hosting the second part of a four-game homestead to open the season, Buffalo (0-1-0) is looking for their first goal, in addition to their first win, of the season, having dropped a 4-0 decision to their divisional rivals from Boston on Thursday. Captain Jack Eichel, a former pupil under current Rangers head coach David Quinn at Boston University, had four shots on net in defeat, while Carter Hutton made 22 saves.

This will be the first of three meetings between the Rangers and Sabres this season, and the first of two in Buffalo. The Rangers swept last season’s trio, including the 2018 NHL Winter Classic at Citi Field in overtime. The last meeting came on March 24 at MSG, the Rangers victory coming in 5-1 fashion. Neal Pionk scored the first goal of his NHL career, while Jimmy Vesey added two scores. Sam Reinhart prevented a shutout with a late goal, but Alexandar Georgiev made a career-high 43 saves to stop the Sabres. The next meeting with on November 4 in Manhattan.

In lineup notes, Lundqvist is expected to get the start tonight, with Georgiev penciled in for tomorrow’s late afternoon visit to Carolina. Cody McLeod is also expected to make his season debut, checking in for Vladislav Namestnikov.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490

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