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Rangers look to begin road trip on good note

NY Rangers (24-15-3) at Buffalo (20-15-5), 7:30 p.m. EST

BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) -- Mired in a slump, things are not

going to get easier for the New York Rangers.

The Rangers seek relief from their troubles when they begin a

season-high, five-game road trip against the Buffalo Sabres on

Friday.

Coming off a deflating 6-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on

Wednesday, New York is 2-4-1 in its last seven contests and

constant defensive lapses have caused the tailspin. The Rangers

have surrendered three goals or more in four of their last five

setbacks.

The Canadiens tallied four times in the final period and took

advantage of Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who was coming

off a 4-0 blanking of the Pittsburgh Penguins, but has won

back-to-back games just once in the last month.

New York, which coughed up its first-place lead in the Atlantic

Division with its recent skid, is 10-7-1 on the road.

The Sabres have won three games in a row and snapped a four-game

losing streak at home with a 4-2 victory over the Ottawa

Senators on Tuesday.

Derek Roy scored a goal and added two assists for a season-high,

three-point game, and has 15 points in his last 11 contests.

Tim Connolly will make his return to the ice after missing 24

games with a broken rib. Before that, the center missed the

first 10 games of the season with a broken vertebra. Despite

all the time he has missed, Connolly has 26 goals and 67 assists

for 93 points in his past 119 games.

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