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January 1, 2018

Alain Vigneault

New York, New York

Rangers - 3, Sabres - 2 (OT)

MODERATOR: We're joined by Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault.

Q. How different is it to coach in front of 40,000 people on an ice cold day as opposed to being in the more comfortable confines of Madison Square Gardens?
COACH VIGNEAULT: No doubt it's different. But at the same time I think everybody had a good time. Once the puck was dropped, it was the same as a normal game. There were a lot of battles. There were some real good plays on both sides, a lot of compete. And overtime game. So typical NHL, tight and -- right until the end.

Q. Can you talk about how much of a game of inches it is, whether it's a post, whether it's their 2-on-1, McDonagh ticks the puck away from Eichel, and how that can be the margin between winning and losing?
COACH VIGNEAULT: I've said this quite a few times so far this year, I've never seen the NHL this competitive, this hard fought. There's so little separating teams. So a lot of it has to do with player's individual preparation and all those little things that you have to do well and you have to do consistently on the ice and you gotta work and you gotta work for your bounces.

And tonight I thought our 5-on-5 game was real good. We lost a little bit of momentum there with taking a few penalties, but we were able to score that big overtime goal on the power play.

Q. How important was it to have Jesper back tonight given the fact that you had five penalties and he was out there for you?
COACH VIGNEAULT: There's no doubt that he's a big part of our penalty killing. Yesterday, somebody would have asked me I would have said he wasn't going to play, but felt real good playing defense there in practice, felt real good after practice. Got up this morning and he talked to the docs and he told me just after warm-up he was good to go. So I put him in.

Q. Were you concerned about the team letting up a little bit in the second period or was it just more (inaudible)?
COACH VIGNEAULT: No, I think you gotta give Buffalo a lot of credit. They played hard. They worked hard. They got some momentum off their power play. And they got that early goal right off the bat in the third period there.

So it's a hard game. Both teams battled hard. And I think everybody, even though it was a little on the colder side, I think everybody enjoyed the game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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