Buffalo was unable to extend it’s winning streak to two games as they fell 3-2 in overtime to the New York Rangers on Thursday night. Buffalo played a solid first period, but an uninspiring second and a not great third period. Tage Thompson gave the Sabres life when he tied the game with 4 seconds remaining in the 3rd period. However, the Sabres couldn’t muster up anything in overtime before Olofsson’s giveaway at the Rangers blue line which led to a 2 on 1 opportunity with Panarin and Zibanejad. Zibanejad calmly blasted home Panarin’s pass, giving the Rangers the 2 points.
Dustin Tokarski played a solid game in net. He stopped 44 of 47 shots for a .936 save percentage despite being bailed out a couple times by the Rangers hitting the post. While the outcome wasn’t what Sabres fans wanted, the product on the ice was must more watchable than what Krueger’s Sabres were producing. Don Granato has let the boys play free and it’s generated some exciting hockey. Yes, I screamed when Thompson tied the game late in the 3rd.
1-0 BUF – Asplund
1-1 NYR – Blackwell
2-1 NYR – Chytil
2-2 BUF – Thompson
3-2 NYR – Zibanejad
Tobias Rieder is a name which I think Adams should look to move at this years trade deadline. Not because I think he has been bad, but rather because I think he has been a solid player for Buffalo this season and can get the Sabres an asset like a late round pick, which will be more helpful for this team in the long run. This could also free up a spot for one of our guys in Rochester, and it’s become increasingly important that we get a glimpse at what we have down there in these last 20 games in this Covid season. Rieder had a decent performance again last night. The underlying numbers won’t necessarily tell you that, but he is a good skater who was buzzing around the ice last night causing havoc.
Questionable Calls – The refereeing in this game was a little questionable. Ristolainen was called for a holding penalty on a Kaapo Kakko breakaway just under halfway through the 3rd period. Luckily for Buffalo the Rangers were unable to do any damage on the powerplay. Jeff Skinner was also robbed of having a breakaway after he got his stick slashed out of his hand, and there was no call made on the play.
Mittelstadt has strung together a few solid performances. It’s promising to see Casey show that he could be a player at the NHL level. Although, I am not convinced he has the potential to turn into a high impact player at the NHL level like he was once thought to be. Mittelstadt assisted on the Thompson goal which tied the game for Buffalo late in the 3rd period. In the clip below, you can see Casey get the puck along the boards and immediately be closed down by a Rangers defender. He stays calm and slides a nice pass right into the shooting lane for Tage Thompson. These are the plays you want to see Casey making, especially in situations like that.
Buffalo will be back at KeyBank Center on Saturday April 3 to face-off against the Rangers again. Something to watch out for, is that Dahlin appeared to hurt his hand late in the 3rd period last night while blocking an empty net shot. No news has come out on if it was just a stinger or not, but it’s best to monitor Dahlin’s status heading into Saturday. Expect Ullmark to be in net on Saturday.