by Patrick Hoffman on 03/24/12 at 12:02 PM ET
The New York Rangers are certainly doing that when it comes to the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference lead as the team dropped a 4-1 game to the Buffalo Sabres last night at Madison Square Garden.
The Blueshirts ran into outstanding goaltending in Ryan Miller as Miller turned away 26 of 27 shots. With the win, the Sabres are now tied in points with the Washington Capitals, who currently hold down the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference.
With the loss, the Rangers now hold just a one point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins and a five point lead over the Philadelphia Flyers. And with all three teams playing tonight, picking up two points against the Toronto Maple Leafs is a must if the Rangers want to hold onto the top spot.
The Rangers did not play terribly last night. They generated plenty of scoring opportunities but just could not put one behind Miller when it counted.
The team’s best player last night was defenseman Ryan McDonagh. There is no doubt that McDonagh has plenty of offensive ability and soon enough, fans are going to be able to see that on a regular basis.
And while Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist made an outstanding save in the first period and did everything he could to keep the team in the game, it was another game in which he allowed more than three goals. Again, it definitely was not his fault but it is something that seems to be happening more often than not in these past few weeks.
In other bad news, Rangers’ forward Mats Zuccarello will be out indefinitely with a fractured left wrist after blocking a shot in the first period. In his brief time up with the Rangers, Zuccarello had showed some skill, an ability to go to the net as well as the ability to play without the puck.
As mentioned above, the Rangers will be back in action tonight to take on the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. If the Blueshirts want to hold onto the top spot, two points better be on the docket for the hockey club.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: buffalo+sabres, henrik+lundqvist, mats+zuccarello, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+mcdonagh, ryan+miller, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.