The NHL is set up with another great night of action throughout March 2. Eight games are up on the board throughout Tuesday night. One of these games will be between the Buffalo Sabres and the New York Rangers. These two teams will look to grab a win after a tough start to this season. This game will drop the puck at around 7:00 PM Eastern time.
The Sabres have put up a record of 6-10-3 to this point in the season, which has them in eighth place of the East Division. Buffalo has once again struggled to get anything going so far this season. The Sabres have lost three games in a row and seven of their last nine. Buffalo will look to turn things around before it gets too late into the season.
New York has posted a record of 7-9-3 so far this season, which has them in sixth place of the East Division. The Rangers have not been much better so far this season. New York is coming off a loss in their last game and have lost two of their last three. The Rangers will look to come out quickly in this one though as they look to get back in the win column.
These two teams have put up similar records throughout the early part of this season. The Rangers have a slight lead in the division, but neither team finds themselves close to the playoff race. New York is a little bit closer and will look to move up with a win in this one. The Sabres have been shut out in back to back games and will look to get the offense going in this one.
The Sabres and the Rangers met up twice throughout last season. New York hosted the first game on October 24. Marco Scandella and Vladimir Sobotka both had a goal for Buffalo, but it was not enough. Ryan Strome scored twice, while Anthony DeAngelo and Brett Howden both had a goal and an assist. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 31 of 33 shots as the Rangers won 6-2.
The second game of last season’s series was on February 7 in New York as well. Jimmy Vesey had a goal and an assist, while Jack Eichel had two assists on the night. Sam Reinhart and Zemgus Girgensons both scored as the Sabres jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Mika Zibanejad had a goal and an assist, but it was not enough for the comeback. Carter Hutton stopped 37 of 39 shots as Buffalo snuck away with a 3-2 win.
The first game of this season’s series was in Buffalo on January 26. Chris Kreider and K’Andre Miller both had goals for the Rangers, but this time New York came up short. Dylan Cozens, Tobias Rieder and Jack Eichel all scored on the night as the Sabres won. Linus Ullmark finished with 28 saves on 30 shots as Buffalo grabbed a 3-2 win at home.
Buffalo also hosted the second game of this season’s series on January 28. Sam Reinhart had a goal and an assist, while Jack Eichel had another goal. It was enough to help the Sabres force overtime. Artemi Panarin had a goal and an assist on the night as well. Alexis Lafreniere scored his first career goal in overtime to lift New York to a 3-2 win.
The Sabres have been solid on special teams throughout the early part of this season. Buffalo has capitalized on 19 of their 61 power play opportunities, which is a 31.2 percent power play. The Sabres have given up 9 goals on 44 penalties against, which is a 79.6 percent kill rate. Buffalo will look to keep up their special teams play in this one.
New York’s power play has struggled a bit to open up this season. The Rangers have scored 11 goals on 74 power play chances, which is a 14.9 percent success rate. New York’s penalty kill has been much better though this season. The Rangers have killed off 58 of their opponents 68 power play attempts, which is an 85.3 percent penalty kill.
Buffalo’s special teams gives them a slight edge in this one. The Sabres have been really dangerous on the power play so far this season, but they will have a tough matchup against New York’s penalty kill. Buffalo’s penalty kill has been alright and will look to stop a struggling Rangers power play in this one. The Sabres are not a heavily penalized team, which I think can give them the edge in this one.
I expect Carter Hutton to get the start in the crease for the Sabres on Tuesday night. Hutton has earned a record of 1-5-1 throughout this starts so far this season. He has posted a .896 save percentage and a GAA of 3.20. Hutton’s last start was against the Philadelphia Flyers, where he stopped 36 of 39 shots on the night, but Buffalo still came up short.
Igor Shesterkin will likely get the nod in the net for New York in this one. Shesterkin has grabbed a record of 4-7-1 throughout his starts so far this season. He has put up a save percentage of .917 and a 2.44 GAA in his games played. Shesterkin turned away 35 of 39 shots in his last full start against the Philadelphia Flyers in the losing effort.
These two goalies have had solid starts to this season. Shesterkin has been slightly better to this point in the season. Hutton has taken over the starting duties with Linus Ullmark out for at least a month. The Sabres will look to give Hutton some more help after scoring zero goals in their last two outings. Buffalo will look to test Shesterkin early to try and get a win in this one.
Buffalo is coming into this one on a tough three game losing streak. The Sabres lost to the Flyers 3-0 in their last two games and will need to get the offense going early in this one. New York has not been much better this season and I think Buffalo can get going in this one. If the Sabres can use special teams to their advantage, they should be able to knock off the Rangers.
BetOnline has New York listed as a -141 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Rangers are going to win this game around 58.5 percent of the time. I think that this line is a little big for two teams in similar positions in the standings. I really like Buffalo’s chances to get a win in this one. As underdogs, I really like the value on the Sabres.