Rangers dominate Sabres as Lundqvist earns shutout

Henrik Lundqvist
Henrik Lundqvist picked up the shutout Thursday night.
Credit: Getty Images

Simply, it was a 60-minute domination of an inferior opponent.

Every step of the way, the Rangers imposed their will on the Sabres throughout the 2-0 win Thursday night at the Garden.

“We came out extremely hard, I thought, and spent a good portion of the first two periods in their end,” head coach Alain Vigneault said.

The Rangers have won consecutive games for the first time this season. They finished October, a month which began with a nine-game road trip, with a 5-7 record.

“I think our game has been getting better, getting better at both ends of the rink,” Vigneault said. “Defensively and offensively, we’re doing a lot of the things you have to do to put some good performances together and that’s what we did tonight.”

For all intents and purposes, Derick Brassard’s power-play goal 8:23 into the first period decided the game. The Rangers controlled the puck throughout the course of the man advantage before Michael Del Zotto slid a pass to Brassard at the half wall. Brassard took several strides before ripping a slap shot from the top of the right circle over Ryan Miller’s right shoulder for his second of the season.

“He’s been playing well,” Vigneault said. “He’s been committed to giving his best every game. Some games are better than others, like all players, but I like where his game is at right now.”

The game-opening score was the Rangers’ third on the power play dating back to Tuesday’s 3-2 win over the Islanders. The Rangers were 1-for-3 on the power play

Brassard’s goal was part of a 14-0 shot barrage in a span of 6:07 for the Rangers, who finished with a season-high 46 shots on goal.

“Our first two periods we had 19 shots each period,” Dan Girardi said. “Sometimes that’s a game total. I think we did a really good job of throwing everything on net.”

That the margin of victory wasn’t more lopsided was due to Miller, who made 44 mostly acrobatic saves.

“Their goaltender kept them in [the game],” Vigneault said.

But the Rangers were able to take advantage of Miller’s athleticism on their second goal, as Chris Kreider banked in a shot off a diving Miller 11:21 into the second period. Kreider began the sequence by forcing Tyler Myers into a turnover in the neutral zone and finished it by redirecting Mats Zuccarello’s cross-crease feed into the Eighth Avenue goal.

“The puck bounced wide and that’s a play I tried a lot. I don’t know if it’s ever worked for me,” Kreider said. “I threw it back out in front because you don’t have any other options; you see the goalie is out in front. Best case, it goes in, but hopefully it sits there and one of your teammates can bang it home. I think it worked out but it was a whole lot of luck. It was a great job of execution by the other guys on the ice.”

From there on out, Henrik Lundqvist made the two-goal lead hold up.

Lundqvist wasn’t tested much in recording his 47th regular season shutout, as he made 27 saves. Only Ed Giacomin has more regular season shutouts (49) as a Ranger than does Lundqvist.

“We deserve this one for sure,” Lundqvist said. “We did so many good things and had a lot of chances.”

Buffalo’s best chances came during flurries late in the second and third periods, the most dangerous of which was Drew Stafford’s point-blank shot with 21 seconds left in the middle stanza.

Both teams entered the game down regulars. Following the early skate, Vigneault announced Dominic Moore would miss the next 7-10 days with a strained oblique, which the center suffered Tuesday night. Moore was replaced in the lineup last night by Brandon Mashinter.

About an hour before the game, the NHL announced Buffalo enforcer John Scott had been suspended 10 games for elbowing Boston left wing Loui Eriksson in the Sabres’ 5-2 loss to the Bruins on Oct. 23. Scott had sat out Buffalo’s last three games.

Scott was the second Sabre to be suspended by the league this season. The NHL announced Patrick Kaleta was suspended for 10 games on Oct. 15, and commissioner Gary Bettman upheld the suspension on Oct. 24.

Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor pledges lower greenhouse gas emissions from New…

Just hours before the start of the People’s Climate March on Sunday, and two days ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit, Mayor Bill de…

National

The best places to see the Northern Lights…

A large solar storm hit the Earth's atmosphere and will tonight illuminate the skies with aurora borealis -- also known as the Northern Lights.

Local

Police officer killed Sunday morning Bronx crash, 8…

One NYPD police officer was killed and eight other officers were injured early Sunday morning when the van they were traveling in crashed  in the…

National

Pennsylvania police shooter manhunt near home of suspect's…

A police manhunt intensified on Friday for the gunman who killed an officer and wounded another in an ambush at a Pennsylvania police barracks a week ago.

Television

'How to Get Away with' mischaracterizing Shondra Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes read Alessandra Stanley's New York Times piece about her being "an angry black woman" and "a romance writer" and it did not sit well with her.

Gossip

New nude celebrity selfies leak … and Clay…

A new batch of nude selfies of Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens, Lake Bell and Avril Lavigne hit the web and Clay Aiken has something to say!

Television

James Spader's route to villainy on "The Blacklist"

In honor of the second season premiere of "The Blacklist" tonight, where James Spader plays good guy/bad guy Raymond “Red” Reddington, it’s a good time to look back at Spader’s…

Television

True Detective

NFL

Jay Cutler takes Marc Trestman's coaching to heart

While Jay Cutler turned to an autobiography on the man who would be his head coach, Trestman had personal experience with the player.

NFL

Jets vs. Bears: 3 things to watch

Jets fans likely chalked up Monday's matchup with the Bears as a loss when the NFL schedule came out. But given their team's play so…

NFL

Rashad Jennings carries Giants in first win this…

Rashad Jennings, who came to New York from Oakland last year, by way of Jacksonville, was highly coveted this offseason by general manager Jerry Reese.

NFL

3 things we learned as Giants pick up…

The Giants picked up their first win of the season over the Texans.

Career

Here's how to make the most of visit…

You’re primped, you’re looking polished, you’re prepared with a stack of resumes. Job fair hunters, unite! There are a few things to keep in mind…

Education

Learn how to study effectively and stop cramming…

Picture this: It’s midterm week, and college students everywhere are trying to frantically memorize all of the math formulas, political theories and historical facts that…

Parenting

How motherhood inspired Bethenny Frankel's new book

Bethenny Frankel's new children's book is about how her daughter and dog didn't always get alone.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.