It’s definitely not news when the Buffalo Sabres lose a game, but Monday’s loss to the New York Rangers saw them tie a franchise record with their 14th in a row.
The Rangers handed the Sabres a 5-3 loss, beating Buffalo for the 10th time in their last 13 meetings and improving to a 4-1-1 record over their last six.
Chris Kreider had two goals, as did Kaapo Kakko. Adam Fox added a goal and two assists for the Rangers, while Artemi Panarin had three assists.
Rasmus Asplund, Dylan Cozens, and Jeff Skinner scored for the Sabres. Skinner’s goal, by the way, was just his third of the season.
Buffalo is now 0-12-2 in their last 14, the league’s longest losing streak since a team known as the Buffalo Sabres went 0-14-0 in the 2014-2015 season.
Keith Kinkaid had the net for the Rangers and stopped 16 shots for a 3-1-1 record this season.
Carter Hutton started for Buffalo before he left under three minutes into the contest after a collision in the crease. Dustin Tokarski entered the game in relief following a call-up from the taxi squad earlier Monday. He finished the game with 33 saves.
The Sabres didn’t look all that bad in the losing effort and at one point the game was tied at three goals apiece. Kreider’s second power play goal of the night made it 4-3 just over five minutes into the third period, while Kakko’s second of the game was an empty-netter with under a minute to go.
The Sabres were outshot, outhit, and outdone on the power play. The Rangers went two for three with the extra skater, while the Buffalo couldn’t capitalize on two opportunities. That dropped the Sabres to zero for 21 on the man advantage over their last 13 games.
The struggle is real for the Sabres, who fired head coach Ralph Krueger earlier this month and have all but announced a fire sale ahead of the trade deadline. With losses stacking up and yet another season lost to poor play, head coach Don Granato’s job is more about stability than any substantial shift in fortunes.
Things won’t get any easier for Buffalo, as they face the Pittsburgh Penguins for two starting Wednesday.