The New York Rangers will try to avoid their first three- game losing streak since the opening week of the season when they visit the Buffalo Sabres for tonight's clash at First Niagara Center.
The Rangers, who went 0-1-1 on a recent two-game homestand, lost three in a row from Oct. 7-15 to begin the season with an 0-1-2 mark. Prior to the home losses to Toronto and Tampa Bay, the Blueshirts had won five straight and 12 of 14.
New York was dealt a 4-2 loss by the Maple Leafs on Monday and then dropped Thursday's shootout decision to the Lightning. Dominic Moore scored the lone goal in the shootout to cap Tampa's 3-2 victory. The Rangers had led the contest 2-1 late in the third until Moore sent the game to overtime with a short-handed tally with 1:57 left in regulation.
"We let one get away tonight. It happens; no one is happy about it," Rangers head coach John Tortorella said. "We just go back to work tomorrow and try to get back into a win."
The Rangers enter tonight riding a three-game road winning streak and they are 8-4-2 as the guest this season.
Buffalo is 2-0-1 over its last three games and is coming off Friday's overtime victory against Florida. The Sabres began a five-game homestand with Wednesday's OT loss to Philadelphia, but rebounded against the Panthers thanks to Jason Pominville's game-winning tally 2:19 into overtime.
In the overtime, Paul Szczechura made a fantastic pass ahead to Pominville, who broke free down the ice. He deked a few times before finishing with a wrister into the lower-right corner.
"It's nice to get a win at home, and to do it in overtime is even sweeter," Pominville said.
The Sabres had lost six of their last seven games at home before Friday night's game. They are just 7-8-2 at First Niagara Center this season.
Buffalo will have forward Ville Leino back tonight after he served a one-game suspension for elbowing Philadelphia's Matt Read in the head. Sabres center Nathan Gerbe sat out Friday's game after suffering a concussion against Philadelphia and will also miss tonight's tilt.
In other injury news for the Sabres, forwards Corey Tropp (upper body) and Jochen Hecht (lower body) are questionable for tonight, while forwards Paul Gaustad (upper body) and Patrick Kaleta (groin) are doubtful.
Tonight marks the first of four meetings between Buffalo and the Rangers this year. The Sabres have taken two straight and five of seven in the series overall. The clubs have split the last four encounters in western New York.