The Rangers came back to the Garden on Sunday night in a big way, by winning a third game in a row. On the other hand, Buffalo was coming off a monstrous victory against the Senators by a score of 9-2. Following a hard-fought west coast road trip, the blueshirts took down the Sabres 3-1 last night behind the stellar play of Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist steered 39 shots away making many highlight saves throughout. The majority of play throughout was controlled by Buffalo, but the Rangers did capitalize on two of their 22 shots on goal of which were scored by Neal Pionk and Jimmy Vesey.
The first period was definitely dominant. Dominant by Henrik Lundqvist that is. The King stopped all 15 shots fired upon by the Sabres’ attack. His performance was highlighted by a tremendous save in which he swept the puck off the goal line with Sabres forward Sam Reinhart at the net. Buffalo led in time on attack, hits, shots, and basically every other stat you can name. The Rangers defense was so sloppy and blocked seemingly no shots. The offense did manage to put on a little flurry late, but Carter Hutton denied them. The Rangers needed a bounce back second period, and they had one.
The Blueshirts had not scored a goal in the opening minute of a period this season until this one, as they netted two early in the opening frame. Neal Pionk started the fun when he received a nice pass from Brett Howden and he fired the puck upstairs past a screened Carter Hutton. Pionk has been great this season on the offensive side of the puck, so congratulations towards the 23 year old for his first of the season. 19 seconds later, Jimmy Vesey stepped into the slot all alone and let go an absolute snipe which went bar down. Vesey has been playing tough this season, and this goal was definitely was well deserved. The Garden would turn silent, though, because the final 19 minutes had the ice tilted towards Hank. Once again, the New York goalie stood on his head and stopped the Sabres in their tracks. I guess that you can call this period “lucky” for the blueshirts.
The Rangers and Sabres played a really even, yet uneventful third period. The frame consisted of mostly dump ins and soft shots on goal. For the third grams in a row, the Rangers were flustered and confused as the opposing team pulled their goalie. The blueshirts once again played way too passive and couldn’t clear the zone. Luckily, as the game came down to the waning moments, Jimmy Vesey did what the team should’ve done the past two games and fired the puck down the ice into the empty net.
What seemed highly unlikely in the first ten minutes of the season, the Rangers are now on a multi game win streak. The games may be cutting it too close, but the young guns are pulling out hard-fought victories. The blueshirts next play against the Habs Tuesday night as they look to win four in a row.