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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, October 31st (All times Eastern)

Buffalo Sabres (2-11-1) at New York Rangers (4-7-0), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Rangers will try to secure consecutive wins for the first time this season when they host the lowly Buffalo Sabres in Thursday's battle at Madison Square Garden.

New York has won two of its last three games and is coming off Tuesday's 3-2 regulation victory over the rival New York Islanders. The road victory improved the Rangers' record to 4-7-0 on the season and the club hopes it can build off the recent win during its first homestand of the campaign.

The Blueshirts opened the season on a nine-game road trip while a renovation project at Madison Square Garden was being completed. They finally debuted at MSG on Monday, but dropped a 2-0 decision against visiting Montreal before rebounding from that home loss with Tuesday's triumph on Long Island.

Thursday's contest kicks off a four-game stay in the Big Apple for the Rangers, who had a solid 16-6-2 record as the host during last year's lockout- shortened campaign.

Benoit Pouliot and Ryan McDonagh each tallied third-period goals to lead the Rangers to a comeback win over the Islanders. The Rangers were down 2-1 after the second period before taking control of the contest in the final 20 minutes.

Chris Kreider added a power-play goal and Derek Stepan chipped in two assists. Cam Talbot turned aside 22 shots, including all eight he faced in the third period, to earn his second straight win between the pipes.

"That'll give us a lot of confidence moving forward, to battle back from those deficits in the third period," said Talbot. "Especially when we've been struggling to find the back of the net recently."

Talbot anchored a 3-2 overtime win in Detroit on Saturday before Henrik Lundqvist returned to the lineup in Monday's loss to the Canadiens. Lundqvist had missed the two games prior to the Montreal tilt with an undisclosed injury, but the former Vezina Trophy winner is expected to get the call in net on Thursday.

Lundqvist is 12-10-2 with a 2.43 goals against average in 24 career outings against the Sabres.

Although the Rangers are still without star winger Rick Nash (concussion) and captain Ryan Callahan (broken thumb), the club did have speedy winger Carl Hagelin in the lineup for the first time this season on Tuesday. Hagelin had missed New York's first 10 contests of the campaign while recovering from shoulder surgery performed in May. He posted an assist in 17 minutes, 15 seconds of ice time in his season debut.

The Sabres enter Thursday on a two-game losing streak and are off to a dreadful 2-11-1 start to the season. Buffalo lost for the fifth time in six games in its last trip to the ice, dropping Monday's 4-3 regulation decision to Lindy Ruff and the Dallas Stars.

Ruff returned to Buffalo for the first time as head coach of the Stars after getting fired by the Sabres last February. He was the longest tenured coach in franchise history before the firing.

The Sabres did get a solid performance from new acquisition Matt Moulson in his debut with the club. Moulson potted a pair of goals in Monday's loss after coming to Buffalo in a blockbuster trade that sent Thomas Vanek to the New York Islanders. The Sabres also received a first-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and a second-rounder in 2015.

"He did a good job," Sabres head coach Ron Rolston said of Moulson making his debut. "He's a hockey player."

Steve Ott also lit the lamp and Ryan Miller allowed all four goals on 29 shots for Buffalo, which fell to 0-7-1 at home this season.

The Sabres are 2-4-0 as the guest this season and are playing four of their next five games on the road.

New York has won two of three and five of the last seven meetings against the Sabres overall and Buffalo has lost two of its last three contests at MSG.

10/31 10:27:49 ET

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Schedule

Tuesday, April 15Full Scoreboard
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Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
  • NASL: RailHawks vs. Ft. Lauderdale

    Saturday at 7:30 am on WRAL-2

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Canes head coach Kirk Muller presser

    Today at 11:00 am on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 2
DUR 9
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
7:05pm Tuesday
PHI 0
ATL 0
7:05pm Tuesday
NYY 0
CHC 0
7:05pm Tuesday
BAL 0
TAM 0
7:08pm Tuesday
DET 0
CLE 0
Final
CIN 7
PIT 5
Final
MIA 11
WAS 2
Final
TEX 5
SEA 0
Final
CWS 2
BOS 1
Final
HOU 2
KAN 4
Final
MIL 1
STL 6
Final
MIN 3
TOR 9
Final
ARI 0
NYM 9
Final
ANA 9
OAK 10
Final
SDP 2
COL 3
Final
SFG 3
LOS 2
12:35pm Today
CIN
PIT
12:35pm Today
BAL
TAM
 
1:05pm Today
NYY
CHC
 
1:10pm Today
MIL
STL
 
3:40pm Today
ARI
NYM
 
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
ATL
 
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
CHC
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CLE
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
SEA
 
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
BOS
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
KAN
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
TOR
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
LOS
 
Final
BRK 98
NYK 109
Final
LAC 117
DEN 105
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
IND
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIL
ATL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
DET
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
HOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
LAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
PHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
NYK
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
UTA
 
8:00pm Tonight
BOS
WAS
 
10:30pm Tonight
DEN
GSW
 
10:30pm Tonight
POR
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
SAC
PHO
 
7:00pm Tonight
TAM
MON
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
Final
CHR 2
DUR 9
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR