NHL on NBCSN: Rangers look to push winning streak to four against Sabres
NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2016-17 campaign tonight when the New York Rangers host the Buffalo Sabres at 7:00 p.m. ET. If you want to watch the game online, you can do so here.
The New York Rangers might not be the most talked about team in the Metropolitan Division, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been good.
They’ll come into tonight’s game riding a three-game winning streak, and they’ve done so without Rick Nash (groin), Pavel Buchnevich (back) and Mika Zibanejad (broken fibula).
What’s more impressive, is that the Rangers have found the back of the net 16 times during that span, including back-to-back six-goal performances in Arizona and Colorado.
Chris Kreider and Matt Puempel each scored a hat trick in the last two games, while J.T. Miller put up a pair of points in each.
Of the 16 goals they’ve scored during their winning streak, seven have come on the man-advantage.
“Our power play right now is winning us some games,” Miller said after Saturday’s win over Colorado, per the Daily News. “It’s just putting the momentum in our favor whether it’s tying the game or going up by one. At the end of the day those add up. If you get several goals a game on the power play, that’s gonna be hard for the other team to play well and keep momentum and win the game.”
Let’s just say scoring goals hasn’t come as easily for the Sabres.
They closed out 2016 with a pair of losses to the Boston Bruins and they scored just three goals combined in those pair of defeats.
The Sabres are currently last in the Eastern Conference with 34 points in their first 36 games, which obviously isn’t good enough if they want to play deeper into April or May.
“As a whole team, everyone needs to look in the mirror and we all need to get a lot better,” said forward Jack Eichel, per the Buffalo News. “I think I speak for the team in saying that we’re all frustrated with where we’re at, and I don’t think I’m the only person in the locker room that’s not satisfied.”
The 2017 schedule won’t do them any favors early on, as they’ll play just four of their 13 games in January on the road, where they have a 6-7-5 record this season.
“If we play how we can and we win hockey games at the rate we can, it can put us in that area where we think we’re going to need to be to be in playoff consideration,” head coach Dan Bylsma said. “That’s really got to be the focus for us here.
“But it also can’t wait for another 20 games to say that same situation. We have to realize the situation we’re in now, and we’ve got to win 60 percent of our points the rest of the way out for sure.”