|BUF||1||0||1||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|NYR||0||1||1||1||(0 - 0)||3|
The last time the New York Rangers and the Buffalo Sabres met, Henrik Lundqvist outlasted Ryan Miller in a dazzling display of goaltending.
The All-Star netminders will likely be starting opposite each other again Saturday night when the Rangers try to beat the Sabres for the third time this season in their first matchup at Madison Square Garden.
New York (38-15-6) edged Buffalo 1-0 in a shootout Feb. 1, with Ryan Callahan beating Miller on the final attempt of the tiebreaker. That game will be remembered for the outstanding play of Lundqvist and Miller, who had 34 and 29 saves, respectively, before combining for six more stops in the shootout.
"It was fun to be a part of," Miller said following that meeting. "To go up against Lundqvist, who's having a great season, and have a night like this, where it kind of puts us in the spotlight at each end, it's nice to be a part of."
Miller's praise of Lundqvist is for good reason. He's enjoying the best season of his career, leading the league with seven shutouts and ranking second with a 1.78 goals-against average while helping the Rangers to the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Lundqvist has also won eight of his last 10 starts behind a 1.29 GAA and three shutouts. He figures to be back in net after Martin Biron made 24 saves before surrendering a pair of shootout goals in Friday's 4-3 road defeat to the New York Islanders.
The Sabres (27-27-7) needed 35 saves and another in the shootout from Miller to secure a third straight win, 2-1 over visiting Boston on Friday.
"I'm just happy to get some wins," Miller said. "I guess it doesn't really matter who it's against."
The 2009-10 Vezina Trophy winner, who has struggled at times this season, has made all three starts in Buffalo's three-game run, compiling a 1.30 GAA.
He should get a chance at winning four straight starts for the first time since March 18-24, 2010, since he's won his last four games at MSG with a 1.49 GAA.
Lundqvist has been on the losing end of each of those meetings, which have come over a five-game stretch. He's 1-3-1 with a 2.82 GAA in that span.
While goals tend to be at a premium with Lundqvist and Miller starting, the Rangers are trying to correct some sloppy play during a 1-2-1 stretch that has seen them allow 12 goals.
Coach John Tortorella wasn't happy with Friday's effort after his team fell behind 2-0 in a span of 2:35 of the first period before battling back to gain a point in the standings.
"Very sloppy hockey game. We were a very sloppy hockey club. We're forgetting how we have to do things," Tortorella said.
Consistent scoring from Marian Gaborik would surely help. The star right wing had one goal and one assist and converted his shootout attempt against the Islanders after failing to find the net in the previous five games.
Gaborik has three goals in 15 career meetings with Buffalo.
Sabres captain Jason Pominville was held without a point Friday after collecting six goals and six assists over his previous nine games since the most recent meeting with the Rangers.
He's failed to get a point in his last four visits to the Garden.
|Mar 23 '12||BUF 4 at NYR 1||D. Stafford|
|Feb 25 '12||BUF 2 at NYR 3 - OT||R. Callahan|
|Feb 01 '12||NYR 1 at BUF 0 - SO||R. Callahan|
|Dec 10 '11||NYR 4 at BUF 1||R. Callahan|
|M. Del Zotto||60||7||26||33||+25||32||0||2|