h1

Rangers fall once again

December 12, 2009

Rangers have lost six out of their last seven

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Tough guy Patrick Kaleta scored twice, including the tiebreaking goal in the second period, and the Buffalo Sabres shook off an uncharacteristic rough beginning by Ryan Miller in a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers on Saturday night.

Kaleta, known more for his fists than offensive touch, scored from in-close in the first and then converted a short-handed breakaway in the second to give the Sabres a 3-2 lead. He entered with 10 goals in 124 NHL games, but pushed his season total to a career-best five with his first two-goal game.

Kaleta nudged a bouncing puck past Ales Kotalik at the right point and came in alone on Henrik Lundqvist, beating him gloveside at 9:30 before the goalie could react.

Derek Roy also scored in the first to provide the support Miller needed for his 18th win. The likely No. 1 goalie for the U.S. Olympic team outdueled Lundqvist, who backstopped Sweden’s run to gold at the 2006 Olympics.

Miller made 36 saves after a rare night off Friday, when the Sabres beat Chicago 2-1 in overtime. Patrick Lalime earned the first victory by a Buffalo goalie other than Miller, who entered with an NHL-best 1.82 goals-against average and .938 save percentage. The Sabres have won seven of nine.

Lundqvist stopped 29 shots, but the Rangers lost for the sixth time in seven games (1-5-1). New York began a stretch of four games in six nights, all in the metropolitan area.

Miller, who seemed to struggle to pick up shots early, gave up power-play goals 1:55 apart in the first period to Ryan Callahan and Marian Gaborik as the Rangers grabbed a 2-1 lead.

Kotalik kept an attempted clearing attempt by 6-foot-8 rookie defenseman Tyler Myers in and sent the puck down to Gaborik near the boards. Callahan got free in the slot and tapped his stick on the ice, drawing a pass from Gaborik that was one-timed past Miller at 10:22.

Callahan netted the winner in New York’s 2-1 victory at Buffalo one week earlier. It was his first goal since.

Gaborik then found skating room while the Rangers enjoyed a 4-on-3 advantage and scored his NHL-leading 22nd. Rookie defenseman Michael Del Zotto slid a pass from right to left high in the Buffalo zone to Gaborik, who moved into the circle and snapped in a shot with 7:43 left.

Gaborik had a scare just over a minute later when Sabres forward Derek Roy was shoved into Gaborik. He appeared to be favoring his left arm, and received treatment near his shoulder and neck on the Rangers bench. Gaborik returned to play a strong shift during the closing minute of the first.

The Sabres closed the period as they started it, with a goal. Toni Lydman fired a shot from the left point that hit Lundqvist high and bounded into the crease. Jochen Hecht found it in traffic and slid a pass behind him to Kaleta, who scored the tying goal into the open right side at 14:28 as Lundqvist dived to get back into position.

Roy’s seventh gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead 6:25 in.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: