GAME: Buffalo Sabres (21-25-5-1) at New York Rangers (19-21-7-4).
TIME: Friday, 7 p.m. EST.
Another disappointing season for the New York Rangers is only getting worse.
Already missing three regular defensemen, the struggling Rangers will be
without center Eric Lindros when they open a home-and-home series against the
Coming off a strong performance in a 5-2 victory over Florida on Monday, the
Rangers were hoping to build momentum and pick up ground in the playoff race
Wednesday against Washington.
A 32-save performance by Olaf Kolzig led the Capitals to a 2-1 victory and
prevented New York from winning consecutive games for the first time in a
While their fifth loss in six games kept the Rangers 10th in the Eastern
Conference, Lindros sustaining the eighth concussion of his career may have
been the worst news of the season for New York.
Lindros took a hard hit along the boards from Capitals defenseman Jason Doig
in the second period and was knocked to the ice. On his next shift, Lindros
went after Doig and both received fighting majors.
"We've spoken to the doctor, (concussion specialist) Karen Johnston in
Montreal," Rangers coach and general manager Glen Sather said. "These things
are hard to judge. By her over-the-phone diagnosis after talking to our
doctors, they don't think it's that severe."
Lindros, in his third season with the Rangers, has been playing his best
hockey in years of late. The 1995 NHL MVP has 10 goals and 22 assists in 39
Lindros joins defensemen Greg de Vries, Darius Kasparaitis and Vladimir
Malakhov and forward Dan LaCouture on the Rangers' injury list. Malakhov, who
has missed two games with a wrist problem, is the only one who could return
Starting goalie Mike Dunham has sat out the past three games after
sustaining a mild concussion Jan. 28, but is expected to start Friday.
The Rangers and Sabres are two of several teams chasing the New York
Islanders for the eighth and final playoff berth in the East. Buffalo enters
this home-and-home series one point back of the Rangers and two behind
Martin Biron stopped 29 shots and Maxim Afinogenov, Ales Kotalik and Chris
Drury scored third-period goals in the Sabres' 4-1 victory over Montreal on
It was the third win in four games for Buffalo, which has eight goals in its
last two contests after managing seven in the previous five.
Biron, who has split time with Mika Noronen this season, has allowed five
goals during a personal three-game win streak.
"The last four games is definitely a case of guys really laying it on the
line," Biron said. "That's the desperation the guys are showing."