- Katie Strang, ESPN.com
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At a glance: The Rangers host the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night (7:30 ET) in the clubs' first of three meetings this season. The Rangers and Sabres are 10th and 12th, respectively, in the Eastern Conference standings, but both clubs enter Sunday's match coming off big wins.
Getting streaky: Rick Nash said it Thursday after returning from injury: The Rangers need to get streaky. With their star forward back in the lineup against the Lightning, New York snapped a four-game losing skid. Now they look to string together some wins. Speaking of streaks, the Sabres are riding a season-high three-game winning streak after edging the Devils in a shootout Saturday night.
Nash is back: Nash's return provided a big boost for the Rangers on offense. Nash finished Thursday's 4-1 win over the Lightning with a goal, an assist and a game-high 12 shots on goal. His presence also sparked linemates Carl Hagelin and Brad Richards. Hagelin notched a goal while Richards went 17-for-20 from the faceoff circle. And though the latter is still mired in a 14-game goal drought, coach John Tortorella thought Richards showed signs of turning the corner, calling the team's most recent win one of his better games of the year.
Missing in action: Sabres leading scorer Thomas Vanek sat out Saturday's game in New Jersey because of an upper-body injury, although it appears possible he could be available to play Sunday against the Rangers. Replacing Vanek in the lineup against the Devils was AHL call-up Brian Flynn, who made his NHL debut.
Thanks, Coach: For the first time in 16 years, the Rangers will see a different face behind the Sabres' bench. After a disappointing start led to longtime coach Lindy Ruff's dismissal, Ron Rolston has taken over as interim coach. Rangers rookie J.T. Miller knows plenty about Rolston, who coached him on the United States' under-18 team.
"He's one of the big influences to who I am today. He taught me how to play hockey; just all the ins and outs and how to be professional," Miller told ESPNNewYork.com's Matt Ehalt. "Even away from the rink, he taught me things I thought I'd never understand and it's really nice to see he's at the professional level because he deserves it and he's a great coach and very professional at what he does, and it'll be great to play against him."
36dPierre LeBrun and Joe McDonald