New York Rangers Defense, Derek Stepan Will Kill Sabres

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Just one night after being foiled by the Florida Panthers, the Buffalo Sabres will prepare to do battle on the road.  Buffalo is 4-12-1 on the road so far this season, so that is not a good sign as the team prepares to take on the New York Rangers at MSG.

The Buffalo Sabres look to get away from home and get on the winning ways again, this time to break their three game losing streak.  They will have to do it against a New York Rangers team that has won nine of their last ten games.  The New York Rangers are struggling to stay in the playoff race so far this year, as they hold the eighth and final wild card spot to get into the playoffs.  A little bit of playoff hangover is no doubt being nursed in the big apple.

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  • The Rangers are trying to beat the odds of what some considered to be an overachievement last year when the team made the Stanley Cup finals.  Finding the right blend of chemistry for what the team has is important to their success and lately, defense has been the key to the recent surge of success in New York.

    Defense isn’t the only thing that the Blue Shirts are going to need to have any hope of repeating what happened last year.  Here are five New Year’s Resolutions that must be fulfilled.

    One of the resolutions for the New York Rangers is secondary scoring, because behind Rick Nash and Henrik Lundqvist, no one is really playing consistent hockey for the Rangers.  That is of course except Derek Stepan.  Stepan has always done well against the Buffalo Sabres.  The Sabres were the opponents against the New York Rangers when Stepan made his NHL debut.  He scored a hat trick, the first New York Ranger in history to do so, en route to a 6-3 victory over the Sabres.

    The Sabres have faced a lot of backup goalies so far this year, but tonight it looks like they will be getting the king.  Henrik Lundqvist is scheduled to play, and after the way that Neuvirth looked last night, he will no doubt be staring down Jhonas Enroth.

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    The New York Rangers have a tough decision to make when it comes to one of their prospects, Anthony Duclair.  Duclair started the seaso with the New York Rangers, and appeared in 18 games for the Blue Shirts, before being loaned to Team Canada for the World Juniors Tournament.

    The New York Rangers aren’t sure whether they will bring the 19 year old forward back to the Rangers.  Duclair has had a good tournament, playing on Canada’s top line with Sam Reinhart and Max Domi.  If he doesn’t stay in New York, Duclair will go back to the Quebec Remparts.

    This will be the New York Rangers first game in 2015, having been off since December.  The Sabres played last night at home, and the 7PM game could easily go for the New York Rangers, and the Sabres seemed flat and out of sorts against the Florida Panthers.

    Next: Sabres, Murray Control Draft Destiney