Recap: Lundqvist out Duels Lehner in Rangers Win Over Sabres

Robin Lehner and Henrik Lundqvist came into tonight after not having their best performances on Tuesday night. That was not to be the case tonight. The two goaltenders dueled throughout the night making great saves and giving their team the opportunity to come away with two points.

The scoreboard will show it was a low scoring game at Key Bank Center, but it was an extremely entertaining game. The Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers showcased speed and skill through the entire 60 minutes. It was unfortunate one of the teams had to lose as both played fairly well.

First Period

The first period was an entertaining fast paced start. Both clubs had their fair share of scoring chances that they either just missed or were foiled by good saves. Pavel Buchnevic had perhaps the Rangers best opportunity of the period. After a good cross-ice pace from Marc Staal, the Rangers rookie was staring at a wide-open cage but shot the puck into the pad of Robin Lehner who was on the opposite side of the net.

Brian Gionta had the best chance for the Sabres crashing the net but was foiled by the pad of Henrik Lundqvist. The Sabres were 0 for 2 with the man advantage in the period. After 20 minutes the Rangers held the advantage in shots on goal 14 to 12.

Second Period

The second period played out in a similar fashion as the first. Lehner and Lundqvist continued their goaltending battle making great saves at both ends of the ice. While this period didn’t have the same pace as the first, it had the exchanging of scoring chances.

The Rangers finally broke through for the first goal of the game late in the period on the power play. Mats Zuccarello scored his tenth of the season by deflecting a Ryan McDonagh point shot past Lehner who never saw it.

The Rangers would get the two power play opportunities this period and capitalize on one of their two chances. Lundqvist continued his strong bounce-back game. The blue shirts lead the period again in shots 15 to 10 in the second period.

Third Period

For a low scoring game, tonight was very entertaining. The up and down hockey continued in the final 20 minutes. The Rangers came close on numerous occasions to putting the game away, but Lehner stood tall for the Sabres.

When it looked like tonight would just be one of those games you tip your cap to the opposing goaltender, the Sabres finally broke through to tie the game with just over five minutes remaining. Cody Franson snapped a loose puck in the slot by Lundqvist. It seemed to only make sense for this game to need extra time for how close it was throughout.


The back and forth entertainment continued. Early in the overtime, Jack Eichel put a nice pass on the stick of Kyle Okposo, but Lundqvist got across to make a great save. Moments later Evander Kane came down and beat Lundqvist, but rang it off the crossbar.

Michael Grabner got loose a few times in the extra session with his speed. The second time he drew a slashing call on Taylor Fedun. The Sabres did a great job keeping the Rangers to the outside during the power play and looked to be headed back to full strength. However, just as the penalty was expiring J.T. Miller and Chris Kreider executed a great passing play that ended with Kreider putting the game-winning goal past Lehner.

It’s an unfortunate loss for the Sabres to lose the bonus point when they played so well and rebounded from a poor outing against the Canadiens on Tuesday. For the Rangers, they were finally able to defeat the Sabres and pick up a much-needed win as they head back to Madison Square Garden for a meeting with the Calgary Flames on Sunday.



Scoring Summary




NYR – Mats Zuccarello PPG (10) assisted by Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller


BUF – Cody Franson (3) assisted by Ryan O’Reilly and Tyler Ennis


BUF – Chris Kreider (20) assisted by J.T. Miller and Mika Zibanejad

 THW Three Stars

First: Henrik Lundqvist (36 saves)

Second: Robin Lehner (42 saves)

Third: Chris Kreider (GWG)

Next Up

Ottawa Senators at Buffalo Sabres

Key Bank Center – 7:00 p.m. EST (Saturday, Feb. 4)

Broadcast channels: MSG-B, TVAS & Sportsnet

2016-17 Season Series: Nov. 5 – Sabres 2, Senators 1 | Nov. 9 – Senators 2, Senators 1 (SO) | Nov. 29 – Sabres 5, Senators 4

Next Up

Calgary Flames at New York Rangers

Madison Square Garden – 2:00 p.m. EST (Sunday, Feb. 5)

Broadcast channel: SN350 & MSG

2016-17 Season Series: Nov. 12 – Rangers 4, Flames 1