A Dose of Reality

After a first-round sweep, the Rangers were confident heading into their series vs. the Sabres. But Buffalo brought them back to earth Wednesday with a convincing 5-2 win in Game 1, equaling the third-largest margin of victory in NHL postseason history against a team coming off a four-game sweep. The two bigger wins were by the Hurricanes over the Devils last year (6-0) and the Canadiens over the Bruins in the 1977 Stanley Cup Finals (7-3). The temptation in dissecting the Buffalo Sabres’ impressive, at times mesmerizing, victory over my New York Rangers in the opening game of their second-round series is to chalk it all up to speed and skill. There was plenty of that on display as the Sabres put on a clinic in puck movement and creativity in handing the Rangers their first loss of the postseason. The Sabres emerged from their first-round victory searching for something resembling their regular-season stride, but for the Rangers to get back in this series, they’ll have to find a way to get the Sabres out of their groove.

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