Rangers-Sabres Preview

The New York Rangers capped a very busy stretch with one of

their most complete efforts of the season their last time out.

They’ll look to continue their surge by extending their recent

success against the struggling Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.

The Rangers (13-9-2) rebounded from having a four-game winning

streak snapped by defeating Washington 4-1 on Sunday afternoon.

Four players scored and backup Martin Biron made 28 saves for New

York, which closed a stretch of three games in four days that was

capped by the early start time against the Capitals.

New York went 4-1-0 while playing five games in eight days, and

is 5-1-0 since a four-game skid.

“I think we’re beginning to sort ourselves out as far as how we

have to play and doing it a little bit more consistently,” said

coach John Tortorella, whose team opened a season-high four-game

road trip.

The Rangers are in the midst of their best stretch of the season

on the power play after struggling for most of 2013. New York,

still toward the bottom of the NHL at 15.9 percent, has gone 6 for

19 in the past six contests.

The Rangers have also been better defensively, giving up 10

goals in the 5-1-0 stretch after allowing 13 during the four-game

losing streak.

“We just continue to try to put together 60-minute efforts and

try and be effective in our D-zone,” defenseman Ryan McDonagh


One of the victories during this surge came against Buffalo, 3-2

in a shootout at home March 3 that was New York’s fourth win in

five meetings. The Rangers have taken the past two road matchups

with the Sabres.

That loss opened an 0-2-2 trip for Buffalo (9-14-3), with each

defeat coming by one goal. The Sabres closed the road stretch by

losing 3-2 to Philadelphia on Sunday, getting outshot 12-4 in the

opening 20 minutes and falling behind 2-0 before Brian Flynn cut

the deficit to one before the period ended.

“We’ve got to be ready to go,” coach Ron Rolston said. “We

didn’t have enough urgency or desperation off the start. We kind of

got a little back as the game went on.”

Buffalo has not led in the first period of the last five games

and has been outshot in that period in each by a total of


“We knew they were going to come out hard … that’s one thing

we stressed before the game, and then we came and we just didn’t

match it,” said Flynn, who recorded his second career goal by

scoring for the second straight game.

” … You have to come and compete every night for 60 minutes to

win hockey games, and we were 20 minutes short there in the first


Buffalo will be without top goaltender Ryan Miller, who has a

sinus infection, meaning backup Jhonas Enroth will start. Enroth is

0-2-0 with a 3.94 goals-against average in four games this season,

and 0-9-3 in his past 16 appearances.

Center Tyler Ennis departed in the first period Sunday after he

was taken out by Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds. His status for this

game is uncertain.

New York got a goal Sunday from center Brad Richards, who played

in his second straight game after missing two following a hit from

behind by the Sabres’ Patrick Kaleta in the last meeting. Kaleta

won’t play in the rematch as he’ll serve the fourth game of a

five-game suspension for the hit.

Rangers forward Rick Nash had two assists against Washington and

has seven goals and nine assists during a career-best 10-game point

streak. He had a goal and an assist March 3.

Buffalo forward Ville Leino could play Tuesday after missing the

first 26 games with a hip injury.