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

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 7,…

Drunk girls and ghost brownies: here’s your weekly ‘Pretty Little Liars’ recap by way of Q&A. Q: do they really not check for feet under…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.