National Hockey League
Preview
NY Rangers at Buffalo
When: 7:00 PM ET, Friday, February 15, 2019
Where: KeyBank Center, Buffalo, New York

The Buffalo Sabres have answered an extremely generous 17-goal start to their seven-game homestand by being rather stingy on the defensive end. After yielding just five tallies in their last three contests, the Sabres look to complete a season-high seven-game homestand in style on Friday when they host the New York Rangers at KeyBank Center.

"I thought we got away from that for a little bit. Now, we're trending in the right direction. We've got one more at home here so hopefully we can carry on and then go on the road and keep this thing going," forward Jason Pominville said. The 36-year-old Pominville scored the go-ahead goal in Tuesday's 3-1 victory over New York Islanders, giving him three tallies on the Sabres' 3-2-1 homestand. While Buffalo resides four points behind Pittsburgh for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, New York's deficit stands at 11 and the volume of trade talk has only increased with the team losing four of its last six. "I'm keeping a clear mind about things," oft-rumored potential trade target Kevin Hayes said on the heels of Tuesday's 4-3 setback to Winnipeg. "It's not like I'm waiting to be told that I'm traded. We'll all find out soon enough."

TV: 7 p.m. ET, NHL Network, Sportsnet1, Sportsnet East, Sportsnet Ontario, TVAS, MSG (New York), MSG-B (Buffalo)

ABOUT THE RANGERS (24-24-8): Mika Zibanejad, who tallied twice against the Jets, has scored 13 of his team-leading 25 goals in his last 11 contests and 21 of his club-best 56 points in the last 13. "I always say it's nice to see the bounces go in, but we didn't win (Tuesday) so it doesn't really matter," the 25-year-old Swede said. Linemate Mats Zuccarello notched a pair of assists on Tuesday to boost his point total to 19 (five goals, 14 assists) in his past 12 games while Chris Kreider set up a goal versus Winnipeg to net him 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in that same span.

ABOUT THE SABRES (28-21-7): Captain Jack Eichel, who has a team-leading 42 assists and 61 points, set up goals by Jeff Skinner and Pominville to post his third six-game point streak (two goals, six assists) of the season. The 22-year-old became just the second Sabre in the last 20 years to require 53 or fewer games to reach the 60-point plateau (Danny Briere, 51) while his 61 points are three shy of his career high, set in 67 games last season. "Jack's come a long way since I've been here," forward Kyle Okposo said. "He's playing extremely well for us. He's our leader for a reason."

OVERTIME

1. New York G Henrik Lundqvist owns a 21-13-2 mark with two shutouts, a 2.32 goals-against average and .921 save percentage in 37 career encounters with Buffalo.

2. Skinner has three of his team-leading 34 goals in his last six games to reside three shy of his career high, set in 2016-17 with Carolina.

3. The Rangers are 10-for-30 on the power play in their last 11 games and 12-for-13 on the penalty kill in the last six.

PREDICTION: Sabres 3, Rangers 1
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
NY Rangers 24-24-6-2 L1 15-9-4-2 9-15-2-0 1-6-1-0 23-18-5-2 5-9-2-1
Buffalo 28-21-6-1 W1 17-8-4-0 11-13-2-1 9-2-0-0 19-19-6-1 9-6-3-0
Last Meeting
NY Rangers Buffalo
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
11/4/18 BUF 1 NYR 3 22 39 0-1 40 19 0-4
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
NY Rangers J. Vesey 2
Buffalo C. Sheary 1
Goals Player  
NY Rangers J. Vesey 2
Buffalo C. Sheary 1
Assists Player  
NY Rangers J. Fast 1
Buffalo R. Asplund 0
Saves Player  
NY Rangers H. Lundqvist 39
Buffalo C. Hutton 19
Season
Total Points Player  
NY Rangers M. Zibanejad 61
Buffalo J. Eichel 65
Goals Player  
NY Rangers M. Zibanejad 27
Buffalo J. Skinner 37
Assists Player  
NY Rangers M. Zibanejad 34
Buffalo J. Eichel 46
Saves Player  
NY Rangers H. Lundqvist 1221
Buffalo C. Hutton 988
Quickchart Matchup
NY Rangers Off vs  Buffalo Def
2.73 GF
3.04 GA
28.6 Shots
32.5 Shots
34 PP
27 PK
Buffalo Off vs  NY Rangers Def
2.88 GF
3.29 GA
32.4 Shots
33 Shots
30 PP
41 PK