Thursday, September 22, 2011

Recap: Rangers Fall To Devils 2-1 In OT

Apologies for not posting in over a week, but I'm back now. That's the downfall when you have on person running a blog.

Anyway, the Rangers fell to the Devils last night 2-1 in Albany last night (yes, Albany). The Rangers' lone goal was scored by Dale Weise on a nice feed from Artem Anisimov. Weise also had a fight at center-ice with Devils forward Brad Mills.The lines last night were:

Brandon Dubinsky-Artem Anisimov-Dale Weise
Carl Hagelin-Erik Christensen-Christian Thomas
Sean Avery-John Mitchell-J.T. Miller
Ryan Bourque-Shane McColgan-Andre Deveaux

Dan Girardi-Brendan Bell
Michael Del Zotto-Steve Eminger
Tim Erixon-Dylan McIlrath

Henrik Lundqvist
Cam Talbot

The Rangers were outshot by the Devils 42-21 and the Rangers took an 0-for on the Power Play. Not a big deal considering the fact that only two forwards playing in the game are locks to be on the Opening Day roster come October.

John Tortorella called the game "sloppy," but praised the line of Avery-Mitchell-Miller. He said their forechecking was very good and said it was the Rangers' best line all night - yet, Sean Avery barely got any shifts in the third period. Seems like Torts is continuing his pattern of saying only positive things about Avery to the media, only to bench him without any real explanation. It was only one preseason game, though, so we'll see what happens and if Avery gets to play with NHL linemates next time if Torts really was impressed by his game.

Henrik Lundqvist, meanwhile, stopped 17 of 18 shots in 31:18 of ice time before he was replaced by Cam Talbot. Talbot was very solid, stopping 22 of 23 shots before being beaten by Patrick Elias for the game-winner 45 seconds into overtime.

My personal thoughts on the game: The Rangers really didn't get much going offensively, but again, look at the lineup. I was very pleased with Dylan McIlrath's performance. Tim Erixon looked a little bit hesitant and shaky at times, but this was his first pro game in the U.S. Lundqvist was stellar and Talbot was very good. Andre Deveaux got into a fight with David Clarkson that he seemed to win pretty easily. He could be a useful weapon if a forward goes down and we need to add some grit against a team like Philly or Boston.

Beyond that, there wasn't a whole lot to write about. I thought Avery had a noticeable game and Del Zotto was alright for the most part. Christensen will need to have a better showing his next time out if he wants to be on this team in the long haul. The Rangers' best forward was Dale Weise, though, who will need to continue to have games like this if he wants to have any chance of making the NHL club out of training camp.

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