On this installment of How They Fared, we take a look at a very entertaining season series between the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers.
As crazy as it sounds, you can make a case that the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers are two of the best teams in the state of New York. Obviously the Islanders would have a say in that but one thing all three New York State teams have in common, they are loaded with talent.
Why do I say that? On this edition of “How They Fared”, we’re going to take a deeper dive into the season series between the Rangers and Sabres. For the first meeting between the two teams, it took place in Buffalo in the month of March.
After a scoreless first period, Jeff Skinner got Buffalo on the board first. A few minutes later, Buffalo native Patrick Kane tied the game up after an unlucky bounce. No more scoring took place and both teams needed more than 60 minutes to determine a winner.
When you take a penalty in overtime, you pretty much set yourself up for a loss and that’s what the Sabres did as Artemi Panarin scored the game winning goal. It was a frustrating loss for Buffalo as an unlucky bounce and a penalty cost them despite playing very well.
The second meeting took place in Buffalo once again on the last day of March. Not only did this game mean something for both teams, but Sabres goaltender Devon Levi would be making his NHL debut.
There was one goal scored in the first period and that was courtesy of JJ Peterka. In the second period, Jordan Greenway made it 2-0 Sabres before Kaapo Kakko cut the lead in half just a few minutes later.
At the halfway point of the third period, Adam Fox tied the game up at 2-2. Once again, Buffalo and New York needed more than 60 minutes to see who would emerge victorious. Not even two minutes into the overtime, Skinner gave the Sabres a thrilling victory and Levi registered his first NHL win.
Buffalo Sabres capped off a thrilling three-game series vs. the Rangers
The Sabres and Rangers faced off for the last time at Madison Square Garden to start the final week of the regular season. For Buffalo, they pretty much had to win the rest of their games to have a chance for a spot in the postseason.
After a thrilling victory against the Carolina Hurricanes, Peterka continued the good times as he made it 1-0 Buffalo. In the second period, it was the Artemi Panarin show as he would score two goals giving New York a 2-1 lead heading into the final frame.
The Sabres had to dig down deep to keep their playoff hopes alive. With around 12 minutes to go in the third, Casey Mittelstadt gave Buffalo life as he would even the game up. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, the Sabres and Rangers needed more than 60 minutes.
Unlike the last two games, this one needed a shootout. After six rounds of no goals, Owen Power scored but Vladimir Tarasenko kept New York alive. Mittelstadt scored again and Levi needed to make one more save to give the Sabres the victory.
He did just that as he stopped Kakko and Buffalo kept their postseason hopes alive with a 3-2 victory. It was a very entertaining season series and I’m excited to see what this year brings.
(Historical data provided by Hockey-Reference)