New York Rangers: Lack of hustle, other takeaways from Buffalo loss

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NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 07: New York Rangers Left Wing Artemi Panarin (10) in action during the third period of the National Hockey League game between the Buffalo Sabres and the New York Rangers on February 7, 2020 at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. (Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Have we been here before? When referring to the New York Rangers’ habit of taking 10 steps forward to then take another five back, unfortunately we have.

And that bugaboo was on display again on Friday night as the New York Rangers dropped a tough 3-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden.

Despite outclassing the Toronto Maple Leafs in a huge win on Wednesday, the Blueshirts could not build on that and they put up an absolute stinker to a Sabres team that has been slumping badly.

The two goals scored in the third period by the Rangers acted as mere eyewash for what was a dominant outing from the Buffalo Sabres from the first drop of the puck until the last.

It started midway through the first period when the Blueshirts allowed Colin Miller and then Zemgus Girgensons to waltz their way through a crowd of static bodies, with the latter beating Alexandar Georgiev in close.

A breakdown in the offensive zone then led to an odd-man rush as Jack Eichel fed the puck to Sam Reinhart who flipped the puck over Georgiev with his backhand.

And, the Rangers’ woes were compounded in the third period when former Blueshirt Jimmy Vesey latched onto a long pass from Eichel, before sliding the puck past Georgiev.

It summed up what was a hugely frustrating night for the Rangers, despite the fact that both Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider scored in the waning minutes to make the game look a lot closer than it actually was.

It was also a severe body blow to the New York Rangers’ postseason hopes, and we had some takeaways from the contest…

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