The Rangers play their 31st game of the 2020-21 season today, Mar. 22, against the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. ET - TV: MSG Network, Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM).
RANGERS VS. SABRES
- All-Time: 79-79-25-5 (44-31-15-3 at home; 35-48-10-2 on the road)
- 2020-21: The Rangers are playing Buffalo in the fourth of eight games between the two teams, and the second of four games between the two teams at MSG. The Blueshirts have posted a 2-1-0 record and won the last meeting between the two teams, 3-2, on Mar. 2 at MSG. Each of the three contests has been decided by one goal. The Rangers have outshot the Sabres, 88-73, in the three contests. Pavel Buchnevich leads all skaters with four points (one goal, three assists) in the season series, while Chris Kreider and Alexis Lafrenière are tied for first among all skaters with two goals in three games. Lafrenière registered his first career NHL goal/point, which was the game-winning goal in overtime, in the Rangers' 3-2 win on Jan. 28 at Buffalo. The Rangers are also scheduled to play against the Sabres on the following dates: Apr. 1 (at Buffalo), Apr. 3 (at Buffalo), Apr. 25 (at MSG), Apr. 27 (at MSG).
- New York is playing eight games against Buffalo in one season for the first time in franchise history; prior to the 2020-21 season, the most games the Rangers had played against the Sabres in one season was six (three times, most recently in 1972-73).
- The Rangers and Sabres are in the same division for the fifth season (1970-71 - 1973-74; 2020-21) - East (1970-71 - 1973-74), MassMutual NHL East (2020-21).
- The Rangers have won nine of their last 12 games against the Sabres, dating back to Feb. 2, 2017 (9-3-0 record). In addition, the Rangers have won 18 of their last 24 games against Buffalo, dating back to Apr. 19, 2013 (18-6-0 record).
- Nine of the last 15 meetings between the Blueshirts and Sabres, including seven of the last 12 meetings and each of the last four contests, have been decided by one goal.
- Since Oct. 7, 2001, 51 of 66 regular season meetings between the Rangers and Sabres have been decided by two or fewer goals (77.3%), and 34 of 66 meetings have been decided by one goal or fewer (51.5%).
- Brian Leetch and Rod Gilbert both registered 41 points against Buffalo in their Rangers tenure, which is tied for the most points any Ranger has tallied against the Sabres in franchise history. Gilbert is the Rangers' all-time leader in goals against Buffalo (17) and Leetch is the Blueshirts' all-time leader in assists against the Sabres (38). Henrik Lundqvist's 22 career wins and 38 career appearances against the Sabres are each the most any Rangers goaltender has earned against Buffalo in franchise history.
- Most goals by the Rangers in one game against Buffalo: 9 - Dec. 27, 1974 vs. Buffalo (9-5 win)
- Most goals in one game by a Ranger against Buffalo: 3 (seven times) - most recently, Brad Richards on Apr. 19, 2013 at Buffalo
- Most assists in one game by a Ranger against Buffalo: 4 - Jean Ratelle on Dec. 27, 1974 vs. Buffalo
- Most points in one game by a Ranger against Buffalo: 5 (three times) - Dave Balon on Dec. 22, 1970 at Buffalo (three goals, two assists); Jean Ratelle on Dec. 27, 1974 vs. Buffalo (one goal, four assists); Derick Brassard on Jan. 25, 2016 vs. Buffalo (two goals, three assists)
- Most saves in one game by a Ranger against Buffalo: 47 (twice) - John Vanbiesbrouck on Mar. 4, 1988 at Buffalo; Mike Richter on Nov. 27, 2001 at Buffalo
- Last hat trick by a Ranger against Buffalo: Brad Richards on Apr. 19, 2013 at Buffalo
- Last hat trick by a Ranger at home against Buffalo: None
- Last shutout by a Ranger against Buffalo: Mar. 14, 2015 at Buffalo (Mackenzie Skapski - 20 saves in 2-0 win)
- Last shutout by a Ranger at home against Buffalo: Oct. 31, 2013 vs. Buffalo (Henrik Lundqvist - 29 saves in 2-0 win)
- Last Rangers overtime game against Buffalo: Jan. 28, 2021 at Buffalo (3-2 win; game-winning goal - Alexis Lafrenière at 2:47 of overtime)
The Rangers have earned a point in four of the last five games (3-1-1 record) and have outscored their opponents, 21-8, in the five contests. The Blueshirts have also outscored their opponents, 13-3, in the last three games.
The Blueshirts have registered three or more goals in four of the last five games. Including team goals awarded for a shootout win, the Rangers have recorded at least three goals in 11 of the last 16 games. In addition, including team goals awarded for a shootout win, the Rangers have tallied three or more goals in each of their 13 wins this season.
The Rangers have held their opponents to two goals or fewer in 13 of the last 22 games, including each of the last three games and four of the last five contests, and have allowed two goals or fewer in 12 of their 13 wins in 2020-21.
Eighteen of the Rangers' 30 games this season have been decided by two or fewer goals, and 13 of those games have been decided by one goal.
SHUTTING THE DOOR
New York has held its opponent to 30 shots on goal or fewer in each of the last nine games and in 21 of 30 games this season. The Rangers have allowed 28.3 shots on goal against per game this season, which is the seventh-fewest in the NHL. The Rangers have held their opponent to 30 shots on goal or fewer in at least nine consecutive games for the first time since Mar. 17 - Apr. 1, 2012.
DRAW IT UP
The Rangers lead the NHL in penalties drawn per 60 minutes (4.39), rank second in the NHL in penalties drawn (133; Calgary - 134), and are tied for third in the NHL in net penalties (plus-14) this season.
Mika Zibanejad has recorded eight points (four goals, four assists) and a plus-seven rating over the last three games, as well as 10 points (four goals, six assists) in the last five games and 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in the last 15 games. He established a single-game career-high with six points (three goals, three assists) on Mar. 17 vs. Philadelphia and recorded all six points in the second period of the game, becoming the second player in NHL history to record six points in one period of a game (Bryan Trottier). Zibanejad's four goals and eight points during the past week were each tied for the most in the NHL.
Pavel Buchnevich has tallied an assist/point in eight of his last 10 games (six goals, nine assists), and he has also registered eight points (four goals, four assists) and a plus-10 rating in his last four games. He leads the Rangers in several categories this season, including points (28), even strength points (22), even strength goals (11), 5-on-5 points (19), 5-on-5 goals (nine), and 5-on-5 assists (10).
Artemi Panarin ranks third in the NHL (min. 10 games played) in points per game (1.32) and ranks sixth in the NHL (min. 10 games played) in assists per game (0.89) this season. He has posted six multi-point games in the 10 contests he has played at MSG this season (six goals, 10 assists), and he has recorded 78 points (29 goals, 49 assists) in 51 career games at MSG.
WHAT THE FOX SAYS
Adam Fox is expected to skate in his 100th career NHL game in tomorrow's contest. He has registered 60 points (10 goals, 50 assists) in his first 99 career NHL games; the only Rangers defensemen in franchise history who recorded more assists and points through their first 100 career NHL games than Fox has are Brian Leetch, Sergei Zubov, and Reijo Ruotsalainen. Fox has led the Rangers in ice time in 24 of 30 games this season.
Chris Kreider has tallied 171 career goals with the Rangers and is one goal away from tying Anders Hedberg for 20th place on the franchise's all-time goals list.
Ryan Strome enters tomorrow's contest with a five-game point streak (one goal, five assists) and a four-game assist streak; the point streak is tied for the longest a Ranger has posted this season, and the assist streak is tied for his career-high.
The Rangers have outscored their opponent on special teams in 11 games in 2020-21 and have posted an 8-2-1 record in those 11 contests.
- The Rangers were 0-for-3 (6:00) on Mar. 20 at Washington.
- The Blueshirts have tallied a power play goal in two of the last three games.
- The Rangers have recorded 10 power play goals in the last 16 games.
- New York leads the NHL in power play opportunities per game in 2020-21 (3.63).
- The Rangers were 4-for-4 (8:00) on Mar. 20 at Washington.
- The Blueshirts have not allowed a power play goal in 19 of their last 23 games (67-for-73; 91.8%), including 13 of the last 16 games (45-for-50; 90.0%) and 11 of the last 13 games (30-for-33; 90.9%).
- The Rangers have killed off 70 of their opponents' 77 power play opportunities over the last 24 games (90.9%) and have held their opponents to only 94 shots on goal during their opponents' 77 power play opportunities over the span.
- New York ranks third in the NHL in penalty kill efficiency this season (86.6%).
- The Rangers are tied for fourth in the NHL in shorthanded goals in 2020-21 (three).
- Since Jan. 30, the Rangers' 91.8% penalty kill efficiency is the best in the NHL; the Blueshirts have tallied three shorthanded goals and have only allowed six power play goals over the span.
- The Rangers have only been shorthanded once in a game in five of their last 12 contests.