The Rangers are coming off their first two game win streak of the season and will have to solve Carter Hutton to extend it to three (7:00 p.m. ET, MSG+).
Déjà vu. That was the experience the Rangers had on Thursday in Anaheim. The Blueshirts held a one goal lead with under a minute to go courtesy of Kevin Hayes and Brett Howden when lightning struck…again. Rickard Rakell tied the game at two with under 30 seconds remaining. The previous game, the Rangers allowed a game tying goal with one second on the clock. Both teams were kept off the score sheet in overtime. In the shootout, Georgiev stopped both Ducks shooters and Zuccarello and Zibanejad each scored giving the Rangers back to back shootout wins. Georgiev registered 28 saves and now has put together strong back to back outings.
The Rangers finish their four-game road trip 2-2 and have picked up their play as the road trip continued. After a disappointing game in Chicago, and heartbreak in Los Angeles, the Rangers finished with two solid shootout wins. The Rangers are now 4-1 in games that have needed more than 60 minutes.
Some concern for the Rangers on this road trip is their ability to close out games. The Blueshirts have now allowed a goal with under a minute left in each of the past three games. While they salvaged two games in a shootout, they dropped at least a point in Los Angeles.
The @NYRangers, who also won on Tuesday after surrendering a game-tying goal in the final minute against the Sharks, became the first team in NHL history to accomplish the feat in consecutive contests. #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/LmrNFJmiWc
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) November 2, 2018
Rookie center Brett Howden is excited to be back home. “It’s really nice to be back,” said Howden, who registered four points during his first major road trip of his NHL career. “It was a little bit of a tiring road trip, but it’s good to be back.”
The Rangers make their return to Madison Square Garden where they play host to the young Buffalo Sabres. If the Rangers are going to achieve their first three game win streak of the season, they’ll have to do something they have never done and that is to defeat Carter Hutton. Hutton has started four games against the Blueshirts in his career and he has won them all. Hutton has only allowed five goals on 141 shots.
Buffalo won the first encounter this season at KeyBank Arena 2-1. Buffalo is 7-5-2 and are currently tied for third in the Atlantic Division. Buffalo is coming off a blowout win 9-2, against the Ottawa Senators. The Rangers will have to keep an eye on the Sabres top line consisting of Eichel, Skinner, and Pominville. Since they became linemates on October 20th, they are the top three scorers in the NHL.
Henrik Lundqvist will be back in the cage for the Blueshirts. Regardless of losing two out of three on the road trip, Lundqvist was stellar in all three starts.
Despite splitting the road trip, the Rangers are growing in confidence. “We’re all confident in our game right now,” said Howden. “We just want to make sure that we’re carrying that on, that we’re still improving on what we need to do better, but we’re carrying on the stuff we’re doing well.”
Freddie Claesson has returned to practice in a non-contact jersey. Boo Nieves was also skating at practice yesterday in a regular jersey. In addition, David Quinn confirmed that Pavel Buchnevich will return to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for two straight games. “I hope he’s pissed. . . Now do something about it,” Quinn said.
Buchnevich will play for Ryan Spooner who is dealing with a lower-body injury. According to Quinn, Adam McQuaid has been downgraded to week-to-week.