After seeing their seven-game win streak snapped by the Colorado Avalanche, the Rangers will look to get back to winning ways when they travel to Buffalo ­(7:00 P.M. ET, MSG+).

RangersNHL RankingsSabres
7thNHL Standing Rank28th

Previous Game

               The Blueshirts were defeated by the Colorado Avalanche by a score of 7-3. Things started out great after first period goals from Jacob Trouba and Nils Lundkvist first career goal. With a 2-1 lead heading into the second period, the Rangers played their worst period under head coach Gerard Gallant. Gallant’s team found themselves in a 6-2 hole after a flat second period with many mistakes the Rangers haven’t been accustomed to making this season. It became ugly very quickly and it didn’t help that the Blueshirts landed in New York in the early hours of Wednesday morning after taking on the Blackhawks under 24 hours before the Avalanche.

“We turned some pucks over and they took advantage of it,” Gallant said. “They’re talented team, and if you’re going to give them second and third chances and odd-man rushes, they’re going to take advantage.”

It was a night to forget for 24-year-old Adam Huska as he was left out to dry in his NHL debut. Huska recorded 32 saves on 39 shots.


               The Rangers will move on and look to start a new winning streak as they head to Buffalo for a match with the Sabres. There seems to be a small rivalry forming between the two sides. They played eight times last season in the East Division but will only play three times this season. The two teams were heavily linked together in a Jack Eichel trade throughout the offseason but ultimately the Rangers wouldn’t budge on what they were willing to give. Buffalo is believed to have turned down more from the Rangers to send him out west to Vegas. Allegedly, the owners of the Sabres didn’t want to trade him to the Rangers unless they were getting a premium.

               When the Rangers and Sabres get together, they seem to play each other very tough. In the first meeting this season, the Rangers defeated Buffalo by the score of 5-4 on a last-second goal by Ryan Lindgren. In the past ten games between the two teams, the score has been within two goals or less in nine of those games. Seven of those games were one-goal games.

               Alex Georgiev will be expected to get the start for the Rangers. Georgiev has won both starts in Shesterkin’s absence and has allowed just two goals in each game. Huska was sent back down to Hartford and third-string goaltender Keith Kinkaid was recalled on an emergency basis. Kinkaid was out with COVID-19 and has since got healthy and will backup Georgiev. Kinkaid will not have to clear waivers to be sent back down once Shesterkin is ready. Look to see if Shesterkin is practising on Saturday for his status on Sunday. If Kinkaid stays with the team, expect Shesterkin to be out of the lineup on Sunday.

               Greg McKegg has cleared the COVID protocol and has rejoined the Rangers. Jarred Tinordi was sent down to Hartford for a conditioning stint.

Buffalo Sabres

               The Sabres will be looking to snap a five-game losing skid (0-4-1). Kyle Okposo leads Buffalo with 17 points while Tage Thompson leads them with ten goals. In the trade from Vegas, Buffalo acquired Syracuse native Alex Tuch. Tuch is recovering from offseason surgery and is just a few weeks away from being able to make his Sabres debut. Casey Mittelstadt underwent surgery for an upper-body injury and he is out indefinitely.

               Buffalo made a recent trade acquiring Malcolm Subban from Chicago. Subban suffered a lower-body injury in his debut and isn’t expected to be available for the Sabres. Another goaltender not available for them is Dustin Tokarski who is also day-to-day. Tokarski is currently in the COVID protocol. And if that wasn’t bad enough, goaltender Craig Anderson is out and on the IR with an upper-body injury. Anderson is currently on a month-to-month schedule.

               22-year-old Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is expected to get the nod for his sixth career start. Luukkonen holds a .907 save percentage in his five starts. Aaron Dell is expected to serve as Luukkonen’s backup.

What to Watch

               How will the Rangers respond? They were slow and flat on Wednesday but luckily it was against a Western Conference team. Every team is going to have a “stinker” of a game as the season goes on. No team is going to have 82 wins and no team is going to play well in every game. It is about the response you get from the team when you have a bad game. It is important to respond with a win as a defeat would start to cut into the seven-game winning streak the Rangers just had. If you lose the game, then the winning streak is being hurt and really only counts for a five-game winning streak.

Projected Lineup










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