SABRES (5-9-2) at RANGERS (7-7-1)
: MSG-Buffalo, MSG Network.
: Buffalo 4-5-1; New York 5-5-0.
: This is the second of four meetings between the teams. On opening night, rookie Derek Stepan
notched a hat trick to lead the Rangers to a 6-3 win at Buffalo. Stepan became just the fourth player in history to score a hat trick in his first NHL game.
: The Rangers managed to weather the storm, and now they'll get their best forward back in the lineup. Marian Gaborik
, who missed 12 games due to a separated shoulder, has been cleared to play and will be in the lineup Thursday night. Gaborik led the Rangers with 42 goals and 86 points last season, his first in New York.
"It's feeling confident enough and comfortable enough to jump back into things, and after today I feel that way," Gabroik told the Rangers' web site. "It's been awhile since I played and I am very anxious to get back in there."
: Buffalo displayed a ton of grit Wednesday night, when it marched into New Jersey and earned a 5-4 shootout victory against the Devils at the Prudential Center. Derek Roy
scored the shootout winner for the Sabres, who are still without injured world-class goalie Ryan Miller
. Jhonas Enroth
made 28 saves in the victory.
"It was a great team effort tonight and a much-needed win," Sabres forward Thomas Vanek
said after Buffalo won for the fifth time in 16 games. "They came at us, but we just kept coming back."
: New York suffered its second straight loss Tuesday night, when the Washington Capitals rallied for a 5-3 win against the Blueshirts at MSG. The Rangers -- who received two tallies from Brian Boyle
and one from Derek Boogaard -- blew three one-goal leads in the loss.
"I don't think we really have an answer," defenseman Dan Girardi
said. "That is the hard part for us. We go out and work hard and we have great fans behind us, but I don't know."
: Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers
had a goal and two assists on Wednesday night, while Roy had a goal and an assist. … Boyle's two goals give him 7 on the season, which is just three shy of team leader Brandon Dubinsky
: Miller (lower body) remains day-to-day for the Sabres. Forwards Nathan Gerbe
(jaw) and Drew Stafford
(upper body) are out. … Rangers forwards Chris Drury (finger) and Vinny Prospal (knee) are out.
: Lindy Ruff coached his 1,000th game with the Sabres on Wednesday night. He's the 18th coach in NHL history to reach the milestone. … Boogaard's goal on Tuesday was his first in 235 games since Jan. 7, 2006.
: "I would have rather have won it in regulation. We took it to the limit. Jhonas made some big saves in the shootout." -- Sabres coach Lindy Ruff on Wednesday's shootout win at New Jersey