Published January 13, 2015
The surging New York Rangers will continue a four-game road trip when they renew hostilities with the Buffalo Sabres in Tuesday's battle at First Niagara Center.
This marks the first meeting between the clubs since March 3 when Buffalo's Patrick Kaleta earned a five-game suspension with a vicious hit from behind on Rangers forward Brad Richards. Kaleta will serve the fourth game of his ban on Tuesday, while Richards has returned to action after missing two tests with body soreness following the hit.
New York won that meeting at Madison Square Garden, 3-2, in a shootout, giving the Rangers victories in four of the last five encounters in this series. The Blueshirts also have won two straight and three of their last four in Buffalo.
The Rangers enter Tuesday having won five of their last six games and that stretch includes the recent win over the Sabres. New York followed up Friday's 3-2 home setback against Ottawa with a 4-1 decision Sunday afternoon in Washington.
Brian Boyle and Ryan Callahan scored 41 seconds apart in the second period to lead New York to Sunday's triumph in D.C. Richards and Derek Stepan supplied the other goals for the Rangers, while seldom-used backup Martin Biron made 28 saves. Biron made his fourth start of the season and improved to 2-1-1.
"We get him in a game, he wins us the game, plus it gives (Henrik Lundqvist) a day off, plus a full day off tomorrow. Really happy how it played out here," New York head coach John Tortorella said about Biron.
No. 1 netminder Henrik Lundqvist will be back between the pipes on Tuesday and is 11-9-2 in his career against Buffalo.
New York is 4-4-1 as the visiting team and will close its road trip with stops in Winnipeg and Pittsburgh.
The Sabres will try to halt a four-game losing streak after dropping a 3-2 decision in Philadelphia on Sunday. The Flyers jumped out to a 2-0 lead early and were able to keep Buffalo at bay for the remainder of the game.
"We obviously started off on the wrong foot," said Sabres head coach Ron Rolston. "That's more my responsibility, I've got to do a better job there. We've got to be ready to go, we didn't have enough urgency or desperation off the start."
Brian Flynn and Jochen Hecht each lit the lamp for the skidding Sabres, while Ryan Miller finished with 25 saves in defeat.
The Sabres could be without forward Tyler Ennis, who was banged up after taking a hit from Philadelphia's Wayne Simmonds. Ennis missed practice Monday and is questionable for this matchup with the Rangers.
Buffalo is 4-6-1 as the host this season. The Sabres are beginning a two-game homestand Tuesday before ending it Saturday against Ottawa.