Rangers-Sabres: Great Last Effort Against New York Keep Buffalo On Fire

Sean MartinContributor IJanuary 9, 2009

Well, they did it to the city of Buffalo again!

After an abysmal first half of the game, the Sabres rallied on the momentum of a beautiful Derek Roy goal with under ten minutes to go in the second period to tie the game at one apiece.

The Rangers, despite shaky play during the last month or so, came into Buffalo to prove that they are as good as their record insinuates. They kept the Sabres to only seven first period shots, and over 14 minutes would tick by before Buffalo would even record their eight shot of the game.

Great fore-checking and loads of discipline kept New York in control throughout most of the game. In fact, they went through the entire game without any penalties. The effort that they showed on the ice proved to critics that it is not a lack of discipline that is hurting their team right now.

However, the real problem seems to be New York's lack of endurance, which fails to take them past the first half of the game. Every game that the Rangers have lost in the past month seems to show the same thing—strong starts tapering off as the game progresses.

The Sabres, though, are now 4-0 entering the New Year, and all those wins were against Eastern Conference rivals. They are now looking to chase down the streak they began the season with as Buffalo now begins to look up the playoff ladder with hopes of earning a better spot for the postseason.

Ryan Miller recorded 43 saves on 44 shots, easily making him the MVP of the game. He once again carried the load for Buffalo to help them into the overtime.

Now that the game is over, we see that the Rangers clearly are in trouble of losing precious points, and if the downward spiral keeps going on, they may even be jeopardizing their postseason hopes altogether.

As for Buffalo, they still showed that they are not playing a full 60 minutes of hockey, placing a heavier burden on Miller's shoulders. If they can play every period like they played the third period in this game, it will be hard for any team to compete with their dynamite offensive skill.

The Sabres' next game is against the Red Wings while New York finds themselves facing the Senators. Both games are on Saturday.