After seeing their four-game win streak snapped in Toronto, the Blueshirts will return home where they look to get back to winning ways (6:00 P.M. ET, MSG).

RangersNHL RankingsSabres
7thNHL Standing Rank24th

Previous Game

               Thursday night, the Rangers were defeated 2-1 by the red-hot Toronto Maple Leafs. In what was a very tight game, the Rangers’ only goal scorer was Dryden Hunt. Hunt’s goal was his first as a Blueshirt and it helped Kaapo Kakko extend his point streak to three games. Igor Shesterkin suffered his third defeat in regulation with a 28 save effort.

               The third line consisting of Alexis Lafreniere, Filip Chytil, and Julien Gauthier may not have recorded a point, but the line continues to be very positive and create chances. Gauthier received this opportunity after the season-ending injury to Sammy Blais. Gauthier has made the most of his opportunity and has been one of the best forwards in the past few games.


               As the Rangers look to get back to winning ways, they had a scare on Saturday as Mika Zibanejad missed practice due to the COVID Protocol. Zibanejad had a false positive and has since cleared protocol. The 28-year-old is expected to remain on the top line and center Chris Kreider and Barclay Goodrow.

The Rangers recorded six wins in eight meetings against the Sabres last season. Five of the eight games ended with the same score of 3-2.

               Reports are circulating that the Rangers are in the market for a middle-six winger. General Manager Chris Drury appears to be after someone who can also fill in on the top six if needed. The obvious candidate is Arizona’s, Phil Kessel. The 34-year-old is in the final year of his contract and has been an ironman throughout his career. Kessel has played in 918 consecutive games and would be someone you can rely on to be in your lineup. Kessel would bring a veteran presence and could be able to pass some wisdom to the youth.

               Another option would be Reilly Smith once Vegas starts to get healthier. Smith played under Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant during his tenure as the first Golden Knights head coach. Smith is also in the final year of his contract and could be a key contributor to the Rangers’ top line if targeted. The 30-year-old had 60 points in 67 games during Vegas’s first-ever season.

               Rangers’ prospect Vitaly Kravtsov has recorded another two goals in the KHL. Kravtsov won’t return to the Rangers until after the season in Russia has concluded. The 21-year-old now has four goals in five games since returning to Russia.

Buffalo Sabres

               The Buffalo Sabres started the season with a record of 5-1-1. But since Halloween, Buffalo has come back down to earth with a record of 2-6-1 as they enter Sunday night’s game. While the Sabres have been faltered as of late, head coach Don Granato has done a terrific job with the rebuilding Sabres. Granato is asking a lot of his team and they are proving that if you take them lightly – they can and will make you pay. Granato was named interim head coach last season and earned himself the title permanently.

               The big news surrounding Buffalo is that the long saga with Jack Eichel is finally over. Eichel was traded to Vegas after the start of the regular season and now both can head in separate directions. The second overall pick in 2015 recorded 355 points in 375 games during his time in Buffalo.

`              The Sabres are led in points with ten by top-six forward Rasmus Asplund. Asplund can play both center and on the wing. Currently, the 23-year-old is on the first line right wing. The Swedish native is currently the only player on Buffalo with double-digit points. The Sabres have been getting scoring by a committee and have seven players with at least eight points.

What to Watch

               Keep an eye on the Rangers’ third line and see if they can maintain the consistency they’ve been playing at. The third line has provided a massive spark and is dangerous every time they step on the ice. The three forwards are still very young and are in the process of learning what it takes to win at the NHL level.

Projected Lineup










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