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

Neighbors testify at Overbrook roommate slaying trial

Neighbors and roommates were called to testify Wednesday in the trial of Renaldo Robichaw, 56, charged with murder for the death of roommate Albert Smith, 48.

Local

Attorney at heart of alleged insurance fraud took…

A Center City personal injury lawyer took his own life last week, days before D.A. Seth Williams released an indictment putting the lawyer at the heart of an alleged insurance…

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

National

U.S. soldier convicted of WikiLeaks crimes granted name…

By Carey Gillam(Reuters) - Former U.S. soldier Bradley Manning, who is serving 35 years in prison for turning over classified files to WikiLeaks, can exchange…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

Movies

Latin culture highlighted at Filadelphia film fest

Get ready to have a “Bad Hair” day at the upcoming Filadelphia Latin American Film Festival. We mean that in the best possible way. The…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

NHL

All signs suggest Steve Mason will start in…

Flyers head coach Craig Berube elected to put Steve Mason in net for the final minutes of Game 3.

NHL

Gary Bettman praises Philly prior to NHL draft

Gary Bettman will bring the NHL draft to Philadelphia this summer.

NHL

Flyers can’t solve Rangers shot blockers

The Rangers blocked a remarkable 28 Flyers' shots Tuesday night.

NHL

Flyers need much more from Claude Giroux

The Rangers have successfully shut down Claude Giroux so far, leading the Flyers 2-1 in the best of seven series.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."