The Rangers’ record in shootouts fell to 1-2 this season after their 3-2 loss Saturday night at Buffalo, which also marked the Blueshirts’ eighth overtime of the year and second in as many games. The Rangers and Sabres made just one shot on goal each during the extra period Saturday night.
“Overtime is a bit of a crapshoot three-on-three,” defenseman Adam Fox said. “I think we just let them hang around, they were getting easy entries and good looks all period. They capitalized on one in the third. It’s just not good enough for this time of year.”
Rangers netminder Igor Shesterkin, who finished with 21 saves on 23 shots, stopped a backhander from Sabres forward Victor Olofsson to get the shootout going before Artemi Panarin’s series of dekes failed to fool Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark.
Buffalo’s Tage Thompson recorded the only goal of the shootout when he sent a quick wrist shot close to the post, beating Shesterkin glove-side.
The Rangers then sent out Mika Zibanejad, whose goal won Thursday’s game in overtime, but the top-line center couldn’t fake out Ullmark. Shesterkin, who made his fifth start in a six-game span for just the second time in his Rangers career, kept the team alive with a save on Casey Mittelstadt, who tied the game 1-1 in the first period Saturday, but Kaapo Kakko’s backhander was stifled by Ullmark to end the shootout.
The Rangers tallied at least 62 goals in one calendar month (March) for the first time since December 1995.
Additionally, Zibanejad , Ryan Strome and Fox each recorded at least 20 points during the month, just the sixth time in franchise history that three players tallied 20 or more points in the same calendar month. The last trio of players to do it were Mark Messier, Brian Leetch and Pat Verbeek in 1995.
Four Rangers — Strome, Fox, Panarin and Pavel Buchnevich — have 30 or more points this season. The Rangers are one of just three teams in the NHL with four players who have at least 30 points this season; the Lightning and Jets are the other two.
Six of the Rangers’ own first-round picks played Saturday: Chris Kreider (2009), Filip Chytil (2017), Vitali Kravtsov (2018), K’Andre Miller (2018), Kakko (2019) and Alexis Lafreniere (2020).
The last time the Blueshirts had six of their own first-rounders play in the same game was on Oct. 25, 1979. In addition to this season and 1979-80, the only other season in which the Rangers had six of their own first-round picks play in the same game was 1977-78.