NEW YORK -- Rick Nash scored the winning goal with 1:42 left, on New Yorks third shot of the third period, and the Rangers clinched home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a 2-1 victory over the NHL-worst Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night. . New York secured second place in the Metropolitan Division when the Philadelphia Flyers lost at Tampa Bay later Thursday. The Rangers will face either the Flyers or Columbus in the opening round of the post-season. The Rangers struggled throughout against the lowly Sabres and goalie Matt Hackett, who played in just his seventh NHL game of the season. Drew Stafford gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead in the second, and Benoit Pouliot tied in in the final minute of the frame. Nash fired a one-timer off a cross-zone feed from Martin St. Louis, and sent the puck past Hacketts glove to break the 1-1 tie for his 26th goal. The Rangers then killed a late penalty against Brian Boyle, the third Sabres power play of the third period. Drew Stafford gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead in the second, and Benoit Pouliot tied in in the final minute of the frame. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 23 shots in the win, New Yorks last home game of the season. The Rangers final game is at Montreal on Saturday. Hackett made 28 saves for the Sabres, 2-15-1 in their last 18 games. The Rangers dominated the Sabres 18-1 in shots in the second period, yet had only a 1-1 tie to show for it. Buffalo recorded the first five shots of the game, and New York didnt record its first until Pouliots partial breakaway 7:30 in. However, the Rangers had a 27-13 edge through 40 minutes. The Sabres made the most of their only second-period shot and grabbed a 1-0 lead on it with 10:54 left in the period. Buffalo defenceman Mike Weber drifted backward with the puck from the right circle toward the blue line, and flipped a shot toward the Rangers net. Stafford, stationed in front of Lundqvist, got enough of his stick on it to deflect it into the net for his 16th goal of the season. New York did nothing with its two power plays in the first period or its next two in the second after a two-goal performance with the man advantage Tuesday against Carolina. It took until there were only 30.4 seconds left in the middle frame to get even with the Sabres. Hackett had been tough up until then, including shaking off a hard one-timer off the stick of Brad Richards that struck him flush in the forehead portion of his mask with 2:11 remaining in the period. After being briefly attended to on the ice by medical personnel, Hackett got up off his knees and stayed in the game. Pouliot took a pass across the Sabres zone in the left circle and fired a drive past Hackett to tie it. It was Pouliots 15th goal of the season and third in five games. NOTES: Lundqvist had a run of 26 minutes, 32 seconds between saves -- spanning from the first period until the third. ... Stafford and Sabres D Henrik Tallinder both returned to the lineup after missing four games each due to injury. Stafford has six goals and nine points in his past 13 games. ... The Rangers didnt record their first shot in the third period until Carl Hagelins attempt with 6:20 left. ... New York didnt take a penalty until the third period. In Tuesdays win, the Rangers were unpenalized in a full game for the first time since Jan. 10, 2012, against Phoenix. . The group of Slava Fetisov, Igor Larionov, Vladimir Konstantinov, Sergei Fedorov, & Slava Kozlov were a dominant force for The Wings at one point in the 90s. . The three goals bring Messis career tally for Barcelona to 371 in all games -- including friendlies -- breaking the club record of 369 held by Paulino Alcantara since 1927. The 26-year-old Messi was already the clubs all-time leading scorer in official games. Messi assured Barcelonas fans they will enjoy his goals for years to come, saying "as long as people want me, I will stay here.Each year, I take a relatively simple mathematical look at each series, using shots on goal and goaltender save percentages to determine which team might be expected to win the series. Since Im the first one to emphasize that overall statistics (or standings) are not necessarily representative of the current value for a team, especially with respect to injuries, these statistics merely provide a baseline for the series, perhaps providing an idea what a team needs to do in order to emerge victorious. In some cases, teams can keep on keeping on; in others, they might need better goaltending, fewer power play against, fewer shots against, more shots for -- just something -- to provide better expected results in a seven-game series. In last years projections, for example, the St. Louis Blues were projected to come out ahead of the Los Angeles Kings in a close series, but the end result wasnt that close at all, partly because Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, who had a .902 save percentage during the regular season, had a .944 save percentage in Round One against the Blues. This points out the obvious limitations of forecasting a seven-game series -- its short enough that a player, particularly a goalie, running hot for a short period of time can easily shift the outcome. The expected goals for each team in the series are determined by taking each teams shots for and against over the course of the season and splitting the difference. So, for example, Boston had 31.9 shots on goal per game and Detroit allowed 29.3 shots on goal per game; the average of those two numbers, 30.6 shots, is the number that is then multiplied by (1 - the opposing goaltenders save percentage) to determine an expected goals per game for the Bruins. Finally, the number is multiplied by seven to indicate an expected goal total for a seven-game series. Theres no guarantee that scoring more goals in a series will result in winning four games first, but the odds certainly favour the team that scores more. Team SF SA Goaltender SV% Expected GF/Series Boston 31.9 29.1 Tuukka Rask 0.930 19.28 Detroit 30.0 29.3 Jimmy Howard 0.910 14.48 Verdict: The Bruins are not only one of the leagues top possession teams, ranking fourth in Fenwick Close, but they also have the odds-on favourite to win the Vezina Trophy, Tuukka Rask. This doesnt mean there is no hope for Detroit -- the Bruins were similarly favoured against Toronto in Round One last year and needed a near-miracle to escape with a win in Game Seven -- but plenty will have to break right for the Wings if they
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16 août 2019
angers clinched home-ice advantage in the first
angers clinched home-ice advantage in the first