The New York Rangers have one more game to play to give the organization an idea of what it needs as the playoff run heats up. Saturday, the Rangers host the Buffalo Sabres (7:00 p.m. EST) in the the midst of one of their worst funks of the season.
The Rangers (38-15-6) have gone 1-2-1 over their last four games -- the first time all year they haven't won a game in regulation over a four-game spurt. Their only win was against the league-worst Columbus Blue Jackets in overtime. Other than that, New York has scored seven goals and allowed 13. New York likely will be open to adding a scorer, but that player should really be someone whom the Rangers don't have to part with the core and the farm for. Columbus' Rick Nash has been the name thrown around, but general manager Glen Sather is said to not be a fan of what he has to give up. We'll see in two days if Sather's stance changes or not.
The Sabres (27-27-7) have been one of the league's most disappointing teams, but they've played better lately and are now just five points out of a playoff spot. Buffalo has won three straight, and like New York will be playing the second of a back-to-back set. The main key for the Sabres has been the play of goaltender Ryan Miller (2.7- goals-against average, .910 save percentage), as the All-Star break seems to have refreshed him and gotten him back on track.
Buffalo is led by winger Jason Pominville, who has 23 goals and 59 points this season. Thomas Vanek has 22 goal and 46 points. Marian Gaborik leads the Rangers with 28 goals and 52 points.
The Rangers' objective needs to be to play a simpler game, focusing on making the simple passes and executing their forechecking/cycling game plan. They were sloppy in their shootout loss to the Islanders and were taken advantage of because of it.