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Live from the Garden: Sabres vs. Rangers

NEW YORK -- Greetings from the self-proclaimed World's Most Famous Arena, which really is a pretty cool place, for tonight's Sabres-Rangers game. The Sabres are an NHL-worst 2-6-2 in their last 10 games and are 0-6-2 in their last eight on the road. You'd think they have an edge tonight with the Rangers coming off Saturday's loss at Washington while Buffalo was off.

Not so fast. The Rangers are 6-2-1 in the second game of back-to-backs -- including 5-1-0 following a loss in the first game of the set. Hmmm.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington)

OT: Near miss for Roy on the backhand. Would have been his fourth OT winner of the season. ... Kaleta wins it for Buffalo with 2:38 left, banking one in off Lundqvist.

Third Period

19:34 left: Good angles played at every chance by Miller, who swallows a Drury shot after (another) Connolly giveaway at the Buffalo line.

15:50: Lundqvist stymies Grier and Torres from in tight.

13:30 left: There's a kid in the 7-9 range right next to me (remember, we're in the stands). He keeps peeking at the laptop screen. Newspaper rules: Hey kid, you don't get to read until the story's done.

12:00 left: Sabres dodge a bullet as Brian Boyle fires high after a Sekera giveaway. That has the crowd into the game with a huge, "Let's Go Rang-ehs" chant.

10:53 left: Brandon Dubinsky beats Miller but NO ONE heard the whistle for offside. No goal. Crowd enraged.

10:00 left: The Rangers played last night and the Sabres didn't but the Rangers look fresher.

8:13 left: Mair goes for holding. Bad timing with the Rangers pressing.

6:00 left: Sabres survive as Miller makes good saves, including one on Jokinen.

5:57 left: Mair of all people breaks the tie by putting Buffalo up as he converts a give and go with Roy after doing the dirty work in the corner. NIce shot over Lunqvist's glove. Mair's fourth.

2:04 left: Hecht goes for slashing after Callahan beats Myers wide but is stopped by Miller.

1:23 left: Disaster as the Rangers tie it as Dubinsky beats Miller and Myers to a puck in the crease after Miller made the initial stop.

On to OT: Shots are 34-27 for the Rangers. Miller was 83 seconds away from his career-high sixth shutout.

Second Period

16:00 left: We're off and running again. Good action, few whistles, no goals. The Sabres, by the way, have not scored in the first period for five straight games.

12:44 left: Shots are 17-17 as the Sabres doing a good job down low and along the wall but not able to get any great scoring chances. Speaking of the wall, why exactly do people in the prime seats bang on the glass? There's a dude in the front row over Lundqvist's right shoulder pounding on it every time -- and I mean every time -- the puck or bodies are near him. Bizarre behavior.

8:23 left: Lundqvist stops a Roy tip off a feed from Mancari, who has not looked out of place at all. Much tighter period for the Sabres, who have an 8-2 advantage in shots after allowing 16 in the opening 20 minutes. In a matchup of Miller vs. Lundqvist, I suppose it was inevitable we'd have 32 minutes of scoreless hockey with more on the way, right?

7:40 left: Miller's best save comes on Ryan Callahan, who poked the puck around Montador and had a wide-open chance down the right wing.

6:52 left: Artem Anisimov goes for hooking Grier, who was going hard to the net and had Anisimov beat The Sabres have been doing that all night and skating better than any game since the Olympic break.

4:50 left: The power play continues to be a misnomer as its crisis drops to 1 for 31. And this time there were no shots on goal and virtually no control in the Rangers' zone.

4:17 left: Great stab by Miller on Matt Gilroy's knuckleball from the right point. Check that: It was a mid-air tip by Marion Gaborik. Great play by Miller moving to his left in mid-stream to corral it.

End-2nd: Still zip-zip. Shots were 10-5 for Buffalo and 22-21 for the Sabres through 40 minutes. Rangers survive the last 20 seconds as Mancari and Hecht both shoot wide from the slot.

First Period

16:35 left: Sabres have a 4-3 edge in shots but Henrik Lundqvist has been up to the task with good stops on Ellis and Torres. By the way, there was some applause when Ryan Miller was introduced in the starting lineup. No big ceremony like Pittsburgh of course and no big deal as it was well before faceoff with lots of folks not in their seats.

13:00 left: Lundqvist with two more great saves on Vanek, both the original shot and a rebound. Great feed by Mancari sets it up. Lines: Hecht-Connolly-Pominville started, followed by Vanek-Roy-Mancari, Torres-Mair-Griere and Kennedy-Ellis-Kaleta (Kennedy switched to left wing).

9:20 left: Miller's best save of the night comes off Vinny Prospal right on the doorstep. Shots are 9-9 in a hard-hitting period. Best check so far: A Torres rattler that sent Erik Christenson off to the bench favoring a shoulder.

6:04 left: Girardi goes for hooking for the Rangers. Not like that's a good thing with Buffalo just 1 for 29 on the power play the last nine games. Check out this unit to start the PP: Mancari-Hecht-Torres-Rivet-Sekera. Two guys who weren't on the team five days ago.

4:00 left: Make that 1 for 30. One shot, by Mancari. Not much else. Rangers actually had the best chance, a slapper by some guy named Drury that whistled over Miller's shoulder.

1:50 left: Kaleta sweeps the puck out of the vacant crease and why was it vacant? Because Sean Avery wiped out Miller. Incredible there was no penalty. It was right in front of me and Miller is barking at referree Dan O'Rourke. How is it right in front of me? We don't sit up high here. We sit seven rows from the ice -- just over Miller's left shoulder.

End-1st: Pretty darned good period for a zip-zip game. Shots are 16-12 for the Rangers. Lots of hits. Miller, by the way, took up his case with veteran Bill McCreary and was not happy as he headed to the dressing room.

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | jvogl@buffnews.com

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | mharrington@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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