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The Rangers were in Newark tonight, and lost the preseason opener 2-1 that showcased some solid goaltending and some decent prospect play. This was likely the only preseason action for some forwards, but others earned more preseason time to see what they can bring to the lineup on a regular basis. We aren’t going to go into full goal breakdowns until the regular season, as we feel there is more value in seeing how some of the borderline players performed.
Henrik Lundqvist looked good, as always. Cam Talbot matched him in performance tonight though. His performance was so good that he will get more time in net tomorrow night in Philadelphia.
Chris Kreider giveth, and Chris Kreider taketh. He had a very solid offensive game, but that first goal by Mattias Tedenby was on him. Justin Falk had to cover the back door (I believe it was #20 who snuck in, but I missed it on the replay), and Kreider made a real sloppy attempt at covering Tedenby by whacking him with his stick. He’s still young, but needs to learn to take the body.
There was one play that really summed up why I believe John Moore will be a solid defender. In the first period, he received the puck behind the net, and had two Devils on him instantly. Instead of panicking, he protected the puck and shoveled a nice backhand pass to Brandon Mashinter. Subtle, but important. That rush on the powerplay was nice too.
Darroll Powe had a decent game. I think he is one of those players who earned more preseason time with his play today.
Aaron Johnson looked a tad slow, and got turned around a few times on rushes by speedy wingers. That is not a recipe for success, but it could just be first game rust.
The powerplay wasn’t bad, they generated some nice chances and got the puck on net a few times. It was the first game of the preseason, so naturally people are going to over react that they didn’t score. It needs work, and it should only get better from here.
It sure was great to see Dominic Moore get a goal in his return to the Rangers. He should make the team as a fourth line player, and it’s great to have him back.
Danny Kristo showed some willingness to go to the dirty areas, and he would have scored in the first if he was a right-handed shot. Instead, he showed tremendous poise by toe-dragging the puck to a better shooting position, but by that point the defense collapsed and the window disappeared. If he were a lefty, he just wrists it into the net.
I didn’t really notice Arron Asham or Ryan Bourque much, but I was on DVR and my reflexes with the play button aren’t what they used to be. I also didn’t notice Shawn O’Donnell or Stu Bickel.
I need to mention Brad Richards: He played fairly well. Looked a step ahead of last year. Speed was never really his thing, but it looked like he clicked with Kreider and Rick Nash.
That’s it for tonight. The roster for tomorrow has been released, so be sure to check that out as well. I hope you guys are as happy to have hockey back as I am.