Former Kootenay Ice goaltender Mackenzie Skapski earned his first-career NHL victory Friday night against the Buffalo Sabres.

Former Kootenay Ice goaltender Mackenzie Skapski earned his first-career NHL victory Friday night against the Buffalo Sabres.

Skapski earns first-career NHL victory

Former Kootenay Ice goaltender Mackenzie Skapski earned his first-career NHL start and victory Friday night against the Buffalo Sabres

John Wawrow


BUFFALO, N.Y. – Rick Nash had a goal and assist, and Mackenzie Skapski stopped 24 shots in his NHL debut in the New York Rangers’ 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night.

Carl Hagelin, on a breakaway, and Mats Zuccarello also scored for New York. The Rangers improved to 8-1-2 in their past 11, defeated Buffalo for the sixth straight time, and extended their road winning streak to a season-best five straight.

Skapski gave up a goal on the first shot he faced 14 seconds in, when Matt Moulson converted Torrey Mitchell’s pass into the slot off a faceoff to the right of the New York net. Skapski got the nod in place of Cam Talbot, who has gone 5-1-2 in eight starts since Henrik Lundqvist was sidelined by a neck injury.

Buffalo, coming off a 3-2 shootout win at Philadelphia on Thursday, dropped to 1-4-1 in its past six.

The Sabres didn’t muster many chances after the opening minute in a game they were outshot 31-12 through two periods and 43-25 overall. Buffalo, which has produced a league-low 102 goals has failed to score three or more in regulation in 19 of its past 23 games.

Hagelin tied the score 5:51 in when he was sent in alone by J.T. Miller’s long flip pass from deep in the Rangers’ zone. Hagelin skated in alone and sneaked a shot through Michal Neuvirth’s legs. Offsides wasn’t called despite a replay showing Hagelin crossing Buffalo’s blue line a step ahead of the puck.

There was no debating the Rangers’ two second-period goals.

Nash scored his 37th of the season by one-timing in Derick Brassard’s hard cross-ice pass from the left wing during a 3-on-2 break 37 seconds into the period.

Nash then set up Zuccarello’s goal some 7 minutes later. Streaking up the right wing, Nash blew past defender Andre Benoit and cut across the front of the net while drawing Neuvirth with him. Nash’s shot hit the post and the puck caromed back into the slot where Zuccarello snapped it in the unguarded net.

Nash is now three goals short of matching a career high, and has 15 points (nine goals, six assists) in his past 11 games.

Skapski was New York’s sixth-round draft pick, and had gone 12-7-3 at AHL Hartford before being called up on Feb. 4.

His best save came during a Sabres power play early in the third period when Chris Stewart’s shot from the high slot changed direction twice and trickled past the goalie. Skapski, however, reached back to glove the puck before it could cross the goal line.

He started because the Rangers were playing on consecutive nights, and after Talbot had struggled in allowing nine goals in his past two games, including a 5-4 shootout loss to Vancouver on Thursday night,.

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault got his 502nd career win to move into 18th place on the NHL list, one ahead of Pat Quinn.

Sabres defenceman Mike Weber did not return after the first period.

NOTES: Sabres LW Evander Kane attended his first game in Buffalo since being acquired in a trade with Winnipeg last week. Kane is recovering from season-ending shoulder surgery he had shortly before the trade. … Brassard had two assists to set a career-best six-game points streak, during which he has eight assists. … Sabres D Josh Gorges is expected to miss the remainder of the season after a second evaluation of a lower-body injury confirmed the initial diagnosis last week. … The game was originally scheduled for Nov. 21 but postponed due to a snowstorm that paralyzed much of the Buffalo region.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
47 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

1,538 total cases, 399 are active, ten in hospital

Item no 22, De-Kieviet Kindergarten class - Highlands, Starting Bid: $20
Christmas Village 2020 school auction items

The annual Christmas Village has gone virtual, here are the auction items from local schools

It happened in 1913

Nov. 22 - 28: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the newspapers at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Urban wildlife Part VI: The East Kootenay birds of autumn

The work of local photographers printed in the pages of the East Kootenay Advertiser throughout 2020. Part VI.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 65 new cases of COVID-19

Province-wide, there are 887 new cases of the virus

The bids for the 2020 Christmas Village are open as of noon on Thursday, November 26. Please scroll through this album to see auction items available for bidding.
Christmas Village 2020 auction items

The Christmas Village has gone virtual, here are all the details

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo:
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Most Read