An incidental-contact call against Ryan Callahan for interfering with the goalie on an Artem Anisimov goal nullified what would've been a first-period New York Rangers advantage but instead typified a frustrating night against the Buffalo Sabres, as they fell, 1-0.
The goal-scoring woes that have plagued the Rangers over the recent batch of games continued Wednesday night as they were unable to mount any sustained offense against a Ryan Miller-less Sabres team. The Blueshirts have now fallen to eighth place in the East, while Buffalo has moved into seventh, though both teams have 87 points. The Rangers have scored three goals in their past four games -- going 2-1-1 in the process because of spectacular goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist.
The same type of play that the Rangers showed in the third period against the Boston Bruins when New York barely hung onto a 1-0 victory presented itself in Wednesday's game. The Rangers just didn't have jump for the majority of 60 minutes. The Rangers started sluggishly, but a would-be Artem Anisimov goal was called off after Callahan made contact with Jhonas Enroth, to the dismay of John Tortorella.
New York had only taken three penalties in its past three games, and for the most part that discipline continued against the Sabres. The lone penalty the Rangers took, however, on a interference call to Marc Staal, proved costly as Tim Connolly buried a slapshot over Lundqvist's right shoulder for what would be the game-winning goal. Despite giving up the tally, the All-Star netminder who look like he tweaked his right leg in the second period was superb in net, stopping 34 shots.
So instead of adding cushion to their lead over the Sabres -- and potentially tying the Montreal Canadiens who lost to the Carolina Hurricanes -- the Rangers made the playoff race much more interesting. Buffalo and New York have one game in hand on the reeling Canadiens, who lead by a mere two points. New York is three points ahead of ninth-place Carolina. The Rangers will look to score some goals and pickup an important win against the New York Islanders, on the road, tomorrow night.