Final Score: 3-2 (NYR)
The Sabres record dropped to 6-11-3 and their losing streak hit four games on Tuesday following another loss to the New York Rangers.
Things seemed to be picking up right where they left off for Buffalo when Pavel Buchnevich scored for the Rangers just 28 seconds in.
Luckily for the Sabres, Sam Reinhart responded immediately with a goal just 27 seconds after that.
The action-packed start made it hard to sit back and appreciate for a moment that this was the Sabres first goal in nearly two and a half games of play (126:42). Nevertheless, it was good to see them respond so quickly.
Shortly after Reinhart’s goal, a Buchnevich shot deflected off of Alexis Lafreniere and into the Sabres net, putting the Rangers up 2-1.
In our preview of this game, we highlighted two premier rookies in Dylan Cozens and the Rangers’ Lafreniere. We apparently picked a good game to do so as both were heavily involved.
Chris Kreider added another one for the Rangers midway through the 2nd period, beating Carter Hutton on a wrist shot to make it 3-1. This one was certainly a play where you’d like your goalie to make a save, but a great shot from Kreider nonetheless.
Towards the end of the 2nd period, the Sabres were able to produce some sustained pressure in the Rangers end, hemming them in their own zone. We’ve seen these opportunities far too often thrown to the wayside by Buffalo, you wondered if this would be any different. When is this going to end in an interception or deflection out of the zone?
Instead, a pleasant surprise. Tobias Rieder circled the Rangers zone before corralling a pass at the blue line, taking a quick look at the net and rifling a shot through traffic and past Shesterkin.
This would be the Sabres’ last goal of the game as they were unable to generate anymore offense.
The Sabres owned 60% of scoring chances in the game and outshot a mediocre Rangers team 24-19. This was an improvement over scoring zero goals in two games this past weekend, but by no means a dominant performance.
Take a look at these thoughts on the Sabres’ effort from the Rangers post-game show:
This shot courtesy of the MSG broadcast is the best way to summarize Jeff Skinner’s season so far.
Skinner played his best game of the season on Tuesday despite once again not finding the scoresheet. His scoring drought has genuinely reached a level of comedy. It is hilarious, that one of these Skinner opportunities, somehow haven’t found the back of the net yet this season. Really, all you can do is laugh.
His best opportunity came on back-to-back in-tight chances against Shesterkin where he just barely put the puck wide.
With Skinner on the ice, the Sabres outshot the Rangers 21-3 (Natural Stat Trick).
Krueger said after the game that is what they’re looking for from Skinner.
Whether you’re in favor of fighting in hockey or not, it’d be hard pressed to find a Sabres fan who didn’t enjoy Dylan Cozens beating the wheels off Ryan Lindgren last night.
The conversation of whether or not your 20-year old rookie should be the one to spark the lineup is a conversation for another day. Does it need to be that deep? Why are we using a great moment as a way to demean other players and how much they fight? Let’s be real here, the Sabres problem is that they are last in the NHL in goals scored — not that Jack Eichel or Sam Reinhart don’t routinely drop the gloves.
Let’s just use today to appreciate that Dylan Cozens is a badass.
Looking ahead: The Sabres kick off a three game series with the Islanders Thursday on Long Island.