- Pavel Buchnevich (6) Assists: Adam Fox (10), Mika Zibanejad (5)
- Sam Reinhart (8) Assists: Jack Eichel (13), Victor Olofsson (9)
- Alexis Lafreniere (3) Assists: Pavel Buchnevich (9)
- Chris Kreider (10) Assists: Ryan Lindgren (8), Adam Fox (11)
- Tobias Rieder (4) Assists: Rasmus Ristolainen (5), Rasmus Dahlin (8)
- 3: Chris Kreider
- 2: Adam Fox
- 1: Pavel Buchnevich
- It was a win, and that is what is most important. The Rangers defended pretty well all night, but this was not the 60-minute effort they were probably looking for. They were really good in spurts, especially in the first, but they only had eight shots in the second half of the game. There are different ways to win and they did it with a few timely goals and defense.
- The opponent, and the massive struggles they are having, certainly helped the Rangers win this game, but you could also look at it as the Rangers playing down to their competition again. It’s a game the Rangers should have, and did, win, but it could have been a dominant effort and it wasn’t.
- Igor Shesterkin was solid in net and made some big stops in the few spurts where the Sabres pushed.
- His goal came off his leg, but you can see how much more confident Alexis Lafreniere is when he has the puck. He’s making more plays, he looks to be figuring out his role with Zibanejad and Buchnevich and so far it’s working. Buchnevich had a strong game and Mika Zibanejad had his moments, especially on that pass on the first goal, but he still doesn’t seem in sync, especially when he’s getting a pass or looking to shoot. You have to believe that he will break out at some point, but it’s been 20 games.
- It was really nice to see Filip Chytil back and it was certainly understandable when it looked like he ran out of gas as the game went on. The hope is that Kaapo Kakko will be back on his wing either Thursday or Saturday and that duo can hopefully bring back the success they were having early.
- When you watch the Sabres you can see why there is so much talk about Jack Eichel and how he will inevitably want out of Buffalo. Eichel has been connected to the Rangers and will continue to be connected to the Rangers because a) they can absorb his $10 million cap hit, b) they have a ton of prospects and young players, c) he had great success and has a great relationship with David Quinn and d) because he would fit exactly with what the Rangers need and where they are. Of course, it’s not like the Rangers can trade Bitetto, Julien Gauthier and a third round pick for Eichel, any trade for Eichel is going to include some of the big pieces the Rangers have accumulated. How big and how many? It’s hard to say, but it’s not going to be Adam Fox, K’Andre Miller or Alexis Lafreniere. If there is a way to do it without including Kaapo Kakko, the Rangers will do it, but the Sabres aren’t going to take depth players for their franchise center. It’s all just speculation though, at least until the offseason, but anything with Eichel also impacts Mika Zibanejad and his future. Zibanejad is signed through next season and has a no-movement clause, but it is very hard to see where he would slot in if the Rangers got Eichel. Again, it’s all just speculation and a topic for the offseason.
- So now the Rangers head on the road for six games. The Devils have started to fade, but they walloped the Rangers in the last meeting. It would sure be nice to see the Rangers return the favor and then head to Pittsburgh on a three game winning streak.