New York Rangers Still Alive After Ugly Loss to Buffalo Sabres

New York Hockey DailyContributor IApril 7, 2010

BUFFALO, NY - APRIL 06: Drew Stafford #21 of the Buffalo Sabres watches a shot by teammate Derek Roy #9 (not shown) score against Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers for Buffalo's first goal at HSBC Arena on April 6, 2010 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

There is not much good you can say about the Rangers 5-2 loss last night against the Buffalo Sabres.

The Rangers needed the win to keep up with the Flyers, who beat the Maple Leafs last night, but the Rangers couldn’t keep up against the first good team they faced in at least two weeks.

Things looked good for the Blueshirts going into the night. They got forward Ryan Callahan back and despite the fact that he never gets a night off, ever, Henrik Lundqvist has looked good of late.

But it wasn’t enough.

Callahan didn’t register a point, had a negative rating, and only played 12:54 minutes. And Lundqvist was pulled after facing just 16 shots because he only managed to stop 13 of them.

That game certainly could not be pinned on Lundqvist. The top two lines provided almost no offense, as Brandon Prust and P.A. Parenteau were the only goal scorers. Prust has scored goals in three games in a row, but four of their six defensemen had negative ratings on the night. The worst was Michael Del Zotto with a -3.

Here are the video highlights:

With the loss and the Philadelphia win, tonight’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs is vital. If they don’t get any points tonight they cannot pass the Flyers even if they take both games against them. Fortunately they still could pass the Boston Bruins in that scenario, but not if Boston gets any points in their final three games.

Here are the standings:

6. Montreal – 87 points – 39 wins – two games remaining
7. Philadelphia – 86 points – 40 wins – two games remaining
8. Boston – 85 points – 36 wins – three games remaining
9. Rangers – 82 poings – 36 wins – three games remaining
10. Atlanta – 81 points – 34 wins – two games remaining

The Rangers can make the playoffs even with a loss tonight, but with the way the standings fall now it will look awfully bleak if they can’t get it done against Toronto.