The New York Rangers have been strong in the second half of back-to-backs all throughout this season, but they were anything but strong tonight in Buffalo. Actually, based on their play in regulation, I don’t think they deserved to win the game, but their goaltender felt otherwise and carried them to victory pretty much singlehandedly. It’s a win and obviously anytime you can get one of those at this stage of the season it is a big deal, but the Rangers have some serious improving to do if they wish to maintain that top spot in the Eastern Conference. At many times tonight, the effort was unacceptable.

The first period of this game wasn’t exactly the most exciting 20 minutes of hockey this year, but the Rangers were forced to kill off back-to-back powerplays that overlapped to give the Sabres a 42-second 5-on-3 advantage. The Blueshirts, having the third best penalty-kill in the National Hockey League, successfully kept Buffalo off the scoreboard by killing both penalties. Their p…