Messier, New York's 43-year-old captain, has not officially said
he will retire after the season. He has missed the last two
games with an elbow injury and the Rangers conclude the season
Saturday at Washington.
"I hope so," Rangers coach Tom Renney said Tuesday when asked if
Messier would play. "I guess we'll see about that in the
After helping the Edmonton Oilers win five Stanley Cups, Messier
was dealt to New York in October 1991. He led the Rangers to
their first Stanley Cup in 54 years in 1994 and spent three more
seasons before signing with Vancouver as a free agent.
After three non-playoff seasons in Vancouver, Messier returned
to New York. But he could not help the Rangers make the
playoffs and likely will wait until the offseason to announce
his decision on next season.
Messier has 693 goals and 1,193 assists in 1,755 games. This
season, he has 17 goals and 25 assists in 75 games.
The Rangers have lost nine of their last 10 games after
Tuesday's 5-0 setback at New Jersey.
The Sabres are 4-0-1 in their last five contests and are three
points behind the New York Islanders for the eighth and final
playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Islanders host the
Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.
Buffalo is 6-1-1-3 in its last 11 games after Monday's 6-0 home
win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Martin Biron made 23 saves
for his second shutout of the season and defenseman Dmitri
Kalinin scored twice.
"It's good to get guys feeling good about themselves
offensively, but we've been playing pretty well over the last
little while and getting points almost every night," Sabres
right wing Mike Grier said following Monday's win. "So I think
we're a confident group right now and just trying to put a
little pressure on the Islanders."
Buffalo has won two of three meetings from the Rangers this