Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.
Rangers-Sabres tonight: Update and preview from Buffalo
Simply put, if the 14-14 Rangers cannot get two points from the Sabres (3-11-1 at home, allowing 47 goals) here tonight, the troubles run deeper than on the surface.
Henrik Lundqvist is well-rested (last start was last Friday in Boston) and whatever distraction that the contract extension talks were, is behind him. The Sabres have not played since a 1-0 loss to the Devils Saturday, but did beat the Leafs here 3-2 on Nov. 29, with both games going past regulation.
Statistically, the Rangers special teams are better than the Sabres. But they need to keep a body on former Islander Matt Moulson on the PP.
Coach Alain Vigneault called out his core leaders and veterans Tuesday, saying more contributions were needed.
The Rangers, who have something to prove after the 5-2 home loss to Winnipeg, are relatively healthy, compared to where they were earlier this season. Derek Dorsett is sitting to rest a sprained wrist, and Justin Falk, a 6th/7th defenseman is a little banged up and will be scratched. So Taylor Pyatt and John Moore are in after two games as healthy scratches.
A win puts them above .500 before settling into a nine-game homestand…
Projected lines, d-pairs:
Kreider-Stepan-Nash, for sure….
Zuccarello or Hagelin-Richards-Callahan
Staal-Stralman (who had is right arm wrapped this AM)