Mika Zibanejad

Rick Nash scores twice as Rangers edge Sabres 4-3

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Prior to Tuesday’s win, New York Rangers forward Rick Nash had gone 12 games without a goal.

They had lost three straight and the man they needed to start scoring again simply couldn’t.

But on Tuesday in a 5-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers, Nash found his stride.

And on Thursday night he notched two more in a 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres on NBCSN.

Nash opened the scoring for the Rangers 1:24 into the game, taking advantage of a defensive mishap by Jake McCabe, who couldn’t handle a puck as the last man back and allowed Nash in on a breakaway.

The Sabres would respond by periods’ end, starting their first of three comebacks on the night.

Kyle Okposo brought the game to level terms with 1:19 remaining in the first period, completing a tic-tac-toe play on the power play.

The Sabres came into the game with the 31st ranking on the man-advantage, but managed to score twice with it in Thursday’s game.

The Rangers regained the lead through J.T. Miller in the second period.

New York just went through a power play without registering a shot on goal, but Miller was able to grab the puck at the right circle moments after the Sabres’ penalty had expired and rifled a wrist shot bar down behind Lehner at 8:26.

The Sabres engineered their second comeback of the game, tying it 2-2 the game later in the period from an unlikely source.

Justin Falk had gone 101 games without putting a puck in the back of the net. Not since March 6, 2015 had Falk seen his name in that category on the scoresheet.

But he shed that monkey off his back on a point shot low along the ice that beat Lundqvist through the five-hole with 2:50 remaining in the frame.

Nash scored his second at the 6:49 mark of the third period, following by Buffalo’s third successful comeback attempt at 14:59 when Rasmus Ristolainen’s shot found its way through a crowd and behind Lundqvist for a 3-3 tie.

Pavel Buchnevich scored the winner 1:03 later, finishing off a nice feed from Mika Zibanejad for his 12th and the Rangers second straight win.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

WATCH LIVE: Buffalo Sabres at New York Rangers

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PROJECTED LINES

Buffalo Sabres

Benoit PouliotJack EichelKyle Okposo

Evander KaneRyan O'ReillyJason Pominville

Zemgus GirgensonsEvan RodriguesSam Reinhart

Scott WilsonJohan LarssonJordan Nolan

Marco ScandellaRasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabeJustin Falk

Josh Gorges — Casey Nelson

Starting goalie: Robin Lehner

[NHL on NBCSN doubleheader: Sabres vs. Rangers; Penguins vs. Kings]

New York Rangers

Rick NashMika ZibanejadPavel Buchnevich

Mats ZuccarelloJ.T. Miller — Vinni Lettieri

Jimmy VeseyDavid DesharnaisPaul Carey

Michael Grabner — Peter Holland — Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonaghNick Holden

Brady SkjeiKevin Shattenkirk

Brendan SmithSteven Kampfer

Starting goalie: Henrik Lundqvist

WATCH LIVE: Philadelphia Flyers at New York Rangers

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NBCSN’s coverage of the 2017-18 season continues on Tuesday night, as the New York Rangers host the Philadelphia Flyers at 7:00 p.m. ET.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

PROJECTED LINES

Rangers

Rick NashMika ZibanejadPavel Buchnevich
Mats ZuccarelloJ.T. Miller – Vinni Lettieri
Jimmy VeseyDavid DesharnaisPaul Carey
Michael Grabner – Peter Holland – Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonaghNick Holden
Brady SkjeiKevin Shattenkirk
Marc StaalSteven Kampfer

Startling goalie: Henrik Lundqvist

[Flyers look to push winning streak to five games against Rangers]

Flyers

Claude GirouxSean CouturierTravis Konecny
Michael RafflValtteri FilppulaJakub Voracek
Jordan WealNolan PatrickWayne Simmonds
Taylor LeierScott LaughtonJori Lehtera

Ivan ProvorovShayne Gostisbehere
Robert HaggAndrew MacDonald
Brandon ManningRadko Gudas

Startling goalie: Brian Elliott

 

WATCH LIVE: New York Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins

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PROJECTED LINES

Rangers

J.T. MillerMika ZibanejadMats Zuccarello

Rick NashBoo NievesJesper Fast

Jimmy VeseyDavid DesharnaisPavel Buchnevich

Michael GrabnerPaul Carey — Vinni Lettieri

Ryan McDonaghNick Holden

Brady SkjeiKevin Shattenkirk

Marc StaalSteven Kampfer

Starting Goalie: Henrik Lundqvist

Penguins

Dominik SimonSidney Crosby — Daniel Sprong

Carl HagelinEvgeni MalkinPatric Hornqvist

Conor ShearyJake GuentzelPhil Kessel

Tom KuhnhacklRiley SheahanRyan Reaves

Brian DumoulinKris Letang

Olli MaattaJustin Schultz

Matt HunwickJamie Oleksiak

Starting Goalie: Tristan Jarry

Sweden knocks off U.S. to advance to World Junior Championship final

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A three-goal third period powered Sweden by the United States 4-2 Thursday afternoon to advance to the final of the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The gold medal game will take place Friday night at KeyBank Center in Buffalo with Sweden meeting the winner of Canada and the Czech Republic.

Things were goalless until midway through the second period when Elias Pettersson, a Vancouver Canucks prospect, scored his fifth of the tournament after patiently waiting for a screen in front of U.S. goaltender Joseph Woll.

The Americans had a glorious opportunity to tie the game but blew a 3-on-0 chance, which ended with Kieffer Bellows taking a goalie interference penalty.

That blown chance allowed for the Swedes to open the floodgates in the third period and put the game out of reach.

After Sweden killed off a U.S. power play, New York Rangers draft pick Lias Andersson increased their lead to 2-0 with his sixth of the tournament following a nice give-and-go with Fredrik Karlstrom.

The air quickly came out of the balloon soon after when Oskar Steen and Axel Jonsson Fjallby scored shorthanded goals on the same power play to up their lead to 4-0. The Americans cut the deficit in half with two goals late in the third period, but their attempt at a rally ran out of time.

Before Friday’s final, the Americans will meet the loser of the Canada/Czech Republic semifinal for bronze, a medal the U.S. last claimed in 2016. Sweden, meanwhile, will be looking to win gold for the first time since 2012 when Mika Zibanejad was the overtime hero against Russia.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.