Sabres fall to Rangers 3-1

Henrik Lundqvist made 39 saves to frustrate Buffalo in New York City

Pat Malacaro
November 04, 2018 - 6:56 pm

Photo: Andy Marlin - USA TODAY Sports

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Henrik Lundqvist stood tall for the New York Rangers, making 39 saves to defeat the Buffalo Sabres 3-1 at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night.

Buffalo went to the power play for the first time in the game with just over six minutes to go in the first period, when Brendan Smith was called for roughing. However, the blue and gold failed to score on the man advantage. They had the same result on their second chance of the period. Vladislav Namestnikov was called for tripping, when he collided with Jeff Skinner in open ice.

The Sabres recorded 15 shots on goal in the opening frame, thanks in part to their two power play chances. Carter Hutton stopped all five Rangers shots as well.

The Blueshirts broke the scoreless tie just 41-seconds into the middle frame, and scored twice in a minute to take a two-goal lead over Buffalo. Neal Pionk scored first, using a screen in front of the net to give New York a 1-0 lead. The goal was Pionk's first of the season, and was assisted by Namestnikov and Mika Zibanejad.

Jimmy Vesey scored just 19-seconds later, extended the lead to 2-0. Brett Howden made the pass to Vesey that helped setup the goal, and he was rewarded with an assist for his effort. Jesper Fast was credited with the other helper.

It was nearly quickly 3-0 Rangers, but Hutton got a piece of Zibanejad's shot before the puck hit the cross bar and stayed out of the net. 

Buffalo had two more power plays in the second stanza, but failed to score. Like the first period, both power plays came back-to-back, and did not yield any results. Lundqvist again stopped all 15 shots on goal by the Sabres. The Blueshirts' net minder made 30 saves through two periods. 

Conor Sheary was able to get the Sabres on the scoresheet part way through the third period after Lundqvist made a mistake in his own zone. The Buffalo forward had two chances to score, and it was a backhand swipe at the puck that helped push it through the blue paint and into the net. Sheary's fifth goal of the year was unassisted.

Zach Bogosian was whistled for Buffalo's first penalty of the game. The rear guard was penalized for slashing, but the Sabres killed off the minor successfully.

Hutton was pulled with just over two minutes to go in regulation, and it allowed Vesey to score his second goal of the game. The forward took a blind shot from inside of his own blue line and was able to find the net and make it 3-1 New York. 

 

GAME SUMMARY
 

Goal Summary:

First Period:

BUF: NONE
NYR: NONE

Second Period:

BUF: NONE
NYR: 0:41 - Neal Pionk (1) (Vladislav Namestnikov, Mika Zibanejad); 1:00 - Jimmy Vesey (4) (Brett Howden, Jesper Fast)

Third Period:

BUF: 6:07 - Conor Sheary (5) (Unassisted)
NYR: 18:01 - Jimmy Vesey (5) ENG (Brady Skjei)

 

Penalty Summary:

First Period:

BUF: NONE
NYR: 13:57 - Brendan Smith (Roughing - 2 min.); 16:26 - Vladislav Namestnikov (Tripping - 2 min.)

Second Period:

BUF: NONE
NYR: 6:44 - Cody McLeod (Tripping - 2 min.); 8:53 - Brendan Smith (Hooking - 2 min.)

Third Period:

BUF: 12:40 - Zach Bogosian (Slashing - 2 min.)
NYR: NONE


Shots on Goal:

BUF: 40 (15, 15, 10) 
NYR: 22 (5, 10, 7)

Goalies:

BUF: Carter Hutton - 19 saves
NYR: Henrik Lundqvist - 39 saves

Power Plays:

BUF: 0 for 4 (0%)
NYR: 0 for 1 (0%)


Three Stars:

  1. Henrik Lundqvist - NYR
  2. Jimmy Vesey - NYR
  3. Vladislav Namestnikov - NYR


What's Next

The Sabres are off until Thursday night, with just two games next week. Buffalo will head to Montreal for a 7:30 p.m. faceoff with the Canadiens on the flagship home of the Sabres Radio Network - WGR Sports Radio 550. Pregame coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Mike Schopp and the Bulldog.

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