The Sabres are hot right now. After losing 18 straight games, the Sabres have turned it around. The season is completely dead in terms of playoff hopes for the Sabres, but they are taking this spoiler role really seriously. The job for the Sabres is to finish the season as strong as they can. It can gain momentum heading into next season. They continue that goal by playing the Rangers for the second straight game. It went the distance like the first time, but the result was different.
It is amazing how one win can change the mindset of a whole team. During the historic losing streak, the whole team had no motivation to win a hockey game. We can thank the Philadelphia Flyers for sucking so bad and giving this team hope. Tonight’s game was a good one from two teams within the state of New York. This game was forced into overtime thanks to Victor Olofsson’s goal in the third period. It wasn’t enough in overtime, so a shootout was necessary. Tage Thompson delivered in the clutch. The Sabres beat the Rangers with a 3-2 win in the shootout.
Tage Thompson scored the shootout winner as the @BuffaloSabres extended their point streak to four games (2-0-2), their second longest of the season (3-0-2 from Jan. 22-30). #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/aopDrkPtXJ
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 4, 2021
Linus Ullmark Comes Up Huge
During the losing streak, the biggest problem was the goaltending situation. Carter Hutton isn’t the same Carter Hutton we saw in St. Louis a few seasons ago. The clear number one goalie is Linus Ullmark. Ever since coming back from injury, he has kept the Sabres within reach of a win every game he has started. He is the one who helped force this to a shootout and gave the Sabres a chance to win against the Rangers.
There is also a reason why Ullmark is the reason for Buffalo turning it around recently. Out of the eight wins on the season, Ullmark has won seven of those games. That is a clear number one goalie. Tokarski and Hutton have not been solid in their respective games. Ullmark is the reason why the Sabres could beat the Rangers tonight.
Linus Ullmark appreciation tweet
Ullmark this season: 6-5-3 • 2.49 GAA • .920 sv%
— MereBSBuffalo (@MereBSBuffalo) April 2, 2021
Rangers Can’t Afford to Lose These Games
There is one thing that this Rangers team cannot do right now. That thing is to lose easy games like this one. The Sabres are clearly the worst team in the league this season. The Rangers are well within the range for a playoff spot behind Boston. There is no excuse to play down to an opponent like this one. Although the Sabres have been playing well recently, this loss cannot happen.
The good thing about this game is the play of Artemi Panarin. The Bread Man cashed in both goals for the Rangers tonight. That being said, the rest of the team needs to step up. It can’t be Zibanejad and Panarin every night to score all the goals. Players like Ryan Strome and Kaapo Kakko should be doing their job and helping this Rangers offense.
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