Buffalo Sabres take a step forward despite loss to the New York Rangers

The last two times the Buffalo Sabres played in a game following a win, they ended up losing by a combined score of 7-1, but that at least changed tonight.

Dec 23, 2023; New York, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres right wing Jack Quinn (22) takes a shot
Dec 23, 2023; New York, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres right wing Jack Quinn (22) takes a shot / Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports
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You need to go all the way back to December 9th, or two weeks ago, for when the Buffalo Sabres played a decent hockey game following a win. But that came vs. the Montreal Canadiens, a substantially weaker team than the New York Rangers, who led the Eastern Conference in points even before their win tonight. 

However, it didn’t start out that way as the Sabres allowed two goals in the first 15:35 of the game. But just over a minute after the Rangers sunk their second of the night, Rasmus Dahlin put the Blue and Gold on the board. And they ended up tying things up a minute and 42 seconds into the second thanks to a goal from Jack Quinn and courtesy of linemates Dylan Cozens and JJ Peterka - the second time in as many games that has happened. 

New York scored the only other goal in the second period, but Casey Mittelstadt scored with a helper from Jordan Greenway, and it was enough for the Sabres to at least earn the point against a very good Rangers team. New York ended up taking the second point in overtime, but still, it’s hard not to be excited by the effort the Sabres put forward in a game following a win. 

Despite loss, the Buffalo Sabres finally have a strong showing

Following their previous two wins, the Sabres looked lost and out of sync on the ice, and that wasn’t the case tonight. Given how strong of a team the Rangers are, the Blue and Gold easily could have folded, but this game should instead serve as a small boost heading into their matchup on December 27th when the Boston Bruins return to town. 

Ideally, you would like to see the Buffalo Sabres get the win here, but skating away from New York with a point against what is one of the NHL’s toughest hockey teams still beats coming up empty-handed. Now, it’s time to get that second W in the season series vs. the Bruins once the three-day break ends, and most importantly, get back into the wild card race. 

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(Information provided by NHL.com)