The Buffalo Sabres put on a display Saturday afternoon at KeyBank Center. They routed the Senators, 9-2, in the finale of a home-and-home. It was an impressive response after the Sens won 4-2 in Ottawa on Thursday. Jason Pominville netted a couple of goals in his 1000th in the NHL, while Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner both contributed with 3 points. From a home-and-home to a back-to-back, as they go into NYC with a hot offence after putting up 9 goals Saturday afternoon.
I think you are going to see this a lot from the Sabres this season. Now put up that many goals regularly, but looking bad one night or week, and then a like a great team in the next instance. Expect them to find it difficult to develop consistency, but some progress from a year ago. Eichel is in his fourth-year now, so it’s about time he begins to lead by example in Buffalo.
The Sabres advanced to 7-5-2 with the 9-2 win Saturday. They’re likely to a fringe playoff team that might be able to squeak in with a strong push in the last month, but ultimately come up short by 5 or 6 or so games. There’s going to be too much traffic in front of them in the Eastern Conference.
For a team that went 25-45-12 a season ago, that would be tremendous progress. For the Rangers, they are in rebuild mode as they look to the future. Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello, Mika Zibanejad, and Henrik Lundqvist are still in New York, but the Rangers will be listening at the trade deadline. Lundqvist has made it clear that he wants to stay with the Rangers and doesn’t want to leave, though. The Rangers were open to moving him last season, but the Rangers weren’t going to go against a guy like Lundqvist’s word. Maybe that changes if the Rangers present him with a trade to a major contender. Head below for our free Sabres vs. Rangers pick.
Buffalo Sabres vs. N.Y. Rangers Pick
The Sabres snapped a three-game losing streak with the win against the Senators. Prior to the skid, the Sabres were winners of three games in a row. Like I said, it’s going to be a little bit of this and a little bit of that in Buffalo. This is the second meeting between the Sabres and Rangers, the first resulting in a 3-1 win for the Sabres in Buffalo.
That ended a four-game winning streak for the Rangers over the Sabres. Thus, the Rangers have won four of the last five meetings. The Rangers enter this one after a split on a four-game road trip. Their last two games were shootout wins over the Sharks and Ducks. They had a 5-2 win over the Panthers in their previous game at MSG, back on October 23rd.
The Sabres have more talent on paper than the Rangers do, that works in favour of them in this contest. However, the Sabres are coming off a monster victory yesterday and have to find a way to motivate themselves on Sunday to play a Rangers team who found some momentum out west. After 9 goals, expect the Sabres to hit a wall and regress against the Rangers.
It’s hard to expect a team to play that well again on a back-to-back on the road, especially a young core like the Sabres have. This is more of situational play on the Rangers tonight. Carter Hutton has been beatable in net, with a 2.95 GAA in his first full year as a starting netminder. Look at the Rangers on Sunday in NYC at Madison Square Garden.