From the Locker Room: Sabres-Rangers (Winter Classic Style)

January 1, 2018

Fresh off the city of Buffalo's celebration of the Bills' first playoff berth in 17 years, the Buffalo Sabres took their turn on center stage as they faced off with the New York Rangers at Citi Field (The MLB home of the New York Mets) in the 10th anniversary of the NHL's Winter Classic.

The Rangers jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first period, but Buffalo battled back to force overtime thanks to tallies in the second and third periods, respectively, from Sam Reinhart and Rasmus Ristolainen. The Sabre comeback was officially stalled in extra time, though, as New York's J.T. Miller ended things in Flushing with a game-ending powerplay goal on a 4-on-3 advantage.

Go inside the *clubhouse* to hear from Robin Lehner and Phil Housley following the loss.


Robin Lehner:

On his first outdoor experience: "The result sucks, but it was a hell of an experience."

On taking some good teams down to the wire recently: "I think we went to overtime three games in a row here. We want to keep working on [everything]. It was unfortunate we got a penalty [in overtime] there, but I think it was a pretty cool game."



Phil Housley:

On how his team grew, responded as the game progressed: "At the start of the game, we weren't really moving our feet that well. We took an early penalty which put us on our heels, and got [the Rangers] some momentum. After we finally started to play, got pucks in deep and started to forecheck, we started to come. The second period was really solid for us, and the third period could have gone either way. I'm really proud of our guys. It's unfortunate that stick penalty had to happen, but our guys performed really well tonight."

On how the team's improved play has impacted coming to the rink recently: "Early on in the season, there were a lot of struggles. A lot of games that we were in were one-goal games, or were even, and we'd just crack at the wrong time; making critical mistakes at the wrong times. It was tough on our group. We kept trying to grind it out and find different areas that we needed to improve in. Recently, though, we've gotten nine points out of 12 games now. We're just playing a better brand of hockey. You can see the confidence growing in our guys."

On how his team took away the Rangers' speed asset to then establish their style of play: "I thought we were playing a faster game. We were on our toes in the first period, maybe awestruck over the game and the situation, but we dug in. We started making the right choices. We made simple plays, which got our feet moving. We looked faster, which led to an improved forecheck and extended offensive zone time."