Game 2 of the preseason and the first game for goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who will play about 30 minutes according to him and coach John Tortorella.
Here are the lines:
Sean Avery-Vinny Prospal-Enver Lisin
Evgeny Grachev-Brian Boyle-Ales Kotalik
Patrick Rissmiller-Tyler Arnason-P.A. Parenteau
Aaron Voros-Matt Maccarone-Jordan Owens
Wade Redden-Matt Gilroy
Brent Henley-Corey Potter
Michael Del Zotto-Michal Rozsival
G: Henrik Lundqvist/Chad Johnson
Dan LaCouture was originally slated to play on Maccarone's right but Tortorella decided he wanted to see Owens in an "NHL" game. Instead, LaCouture skated this afternoon as Hartford beat Lowell, 4-3, in a shootout at the Rock.
Tortorella also said Bobby Sanguinetti, who did not dress for either of today's games, would get a game and just because Michael Del Zotto and Matt Gilroy are playing tonight after dressing for last night's 2-1 loss to the Bruins, it doesn't "knock (Sanguinetti) out of the box."
Torts also liked Artem Anisimov in last night's game and made it sound like Ilkka Heikkinen, who played for Hartford this afternoon, was not guaranteed an NHL preseason game. Tortorella also had a long discussion with Sean Avery during the morning skate regarding neutral-zone defense and making sure Avery was communicating with the defensemen, particularly since so many are young players.
Check back during the game for live updates...
Follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/AGrossRecord
Rangers Starters: Redden-Gilroy, Avery-Prospal-Lisin, Lundqvist
2:40 First period: Redden, Gilroy playing the points on power play. Devils have had better chances on the penalty kill than the Rangers with the man advantage. It's too early in the preseason to take out the red flag. For now, it'll remain in the pocket.
6:10 First period: Bad turnover by Del Zotto on the power play. Still no shots in the game.
7:15 First period: Rangers in midseason form on power play, 0-for-2 no shots.
8:49 First period: Shots have been taken in the game, scoreboard just not registering them.
12:09 First period: Gilroy, Redden, Rissmiller, P.A. Parenteau on the penalty kill after Ales Kotalik is called for hooking.
13:31 First period: No help from Rozsival, Potter, Boyle, Grachev on David Clarkson's net as Clarkson is left wide open in front of Lundqvist, getting two whacks at the puck. Not quite the Blair Betts-Fredrik Sjostrom unit.
18:41 First period: Sean Avery had his best you've-got-to-be-kidding-me face after his goal was wiped off and Matt Mottau jumped on his back in the crease. Avery was to Yann Danis' right and blocked the goalie as he tapped in Enver Lisin's shot before Mottau jumped on him, prompting a scrum. Avery gets two minutes for goalie interference and two for unsportsmanlike conduct.
First intermission: Much like yesterday's loss to the Bruins, the Rangers have started slowly. But Enver Lisin continues to display his superior skating skills. He's fast, very, very fast and he probably would have scored on his shot anyway had Avery not interfered with Danis. Lisin must continue to create scoring opportunities to convince Tortorella of his worth.
6:35 Second period: On Rangers power play, Del Zotto caught a little too far down in the Devils' zone as the Devils nearly transition the other way. But that's OK. Tortorella wants the defensemen to be aggressive. Kotalik, playing the left point, was able to get back on defense.
8:02 Second period: Aaron Voros goes skate to skate with Mark Fraser but the Devil gets Voros' helmet off and his quicker to the punch at the start. Voros, though, is always game.
9:51 Second period: Chad Johnson has replaced Henrik Lundqvist.
10:14 Second period: David Clarkson has beaten Chad Johnson from the left on the first shot Johnson faced.
14:18: Second period: Second fight: massive defenseman Brent Henley, who has used his big body to get noticed during scrimmages, scraps with P.L. Letourneau-Leblond. Hard to declare a winner but both looked very agile as they spun around and around and around and around.
15:12 Second period: This one is called. Bryce Salvador gets the blade of his stick in Sean Avery's face and gets a high-sticking call.
16:15 Second period: Gilroy and Del Zotto out on the power play together.
Second intermission: Really looking forward to tomorrow, when the 54-man roster is significantly reduced. It'll be easier for players to get into a flow and, likewise, it'll be easier to focus in on players' performances. Some players will be going back to juniors tomorrow but I'd be very surprised if Del Zotto is one of them. I think he's played well enough to warrant a much longer look through the preseason. Still on the fence as to what would be best for his development. On the one hand, he's guaranteed major minutes as a top two defenseman at London and if he sticks with the Rangers (past nine games) he's here for the season and Tortorella might have to sit him in spots and that might stunt his growth if those stretches are too long. On the other hand, Del Zotto might be very close to showing he can play in the NHL, meaning he might not get as much out of one last season in juniors. Waffle, waffle, I know. Looking forward to seeing him play at least a couple of more times, hopefully Saturday at Boston. Gilroy's been OK while showing his offensive potential but they're paying him to be a Ranger and I think he will be.
3:03 Third period: Matt Gilroy flashes his offensive potential, with a burst through the Devils' defense and a backhander over Yann Danis to make it 2-1. So it's what I said above.
11:46 Third period: So Torts must have known something, switching Owens to the NHL game instead of Dan LaCouture. Owens ties it on an unassisted goal, making a nice move to the net. He's a strong kid.
14:19 Third period: Maybe there is something to this conditioning stuff after all. For the second straight night, the Rangers have been the much stronger team in the second half of the game.
On Owens' goal: Add an assist for Del Zotto.
:57 Overtime: Boy, Del Zotto really does get deep into the zone, even in a 4-on-4 situation. Like Torts said yesterday, that's a "nice arrogance."
1:38 Overtime: And there goes Gilroy attacking the net. Both seeing plenty of ice time.
2:31 Overtime: Del Zotto called for dragging down Vladimir Zharkov.
3:42 Overtime: Nice job by Rangers not giving up a goal with Devils skating 4-on-3 and Brian Boyle having lost his stick.
Final: Devils 3, Rangers 2 (shootout): Six rounds in a shootout and Matt Gilroy is the only Ranger to score. Zach Parise beats Chad Johnson in the third round and Travis Zajac nets the game-winner. At least Johnson, who played very well in the third period after a shaky start, gets beaten by NHLers. Really thought Vinny Prospal was going to score in the sixth round but Yann Danis turned aside his backhander.
Somebody asked about the A's in the comments and Tortorella was asked about it after the game. He does not like rotating the alternate captains, did not do that in Tampa and will not here. "We'll figure out who'll be the leaders as we go through the next few weeks and get it settled by opening night," Tortorella said. "I don't believe in all that rotating stuff."
Tortorella also liked the play of young defensemen Del Zotto and Gilroy.
"They make subtle plays," Tortorella said. "It's not just always off the glass and giving it back to the other team. They're looking to make a play out of the end zone so we have control. They've done a good job in a lot of minutes that we've given them the past couple of games."
Tomorrow, the Rangers will make their first cuts. They're at 54 right now, Tortorella said he wants to be down to 29 or 30. One player guaranteed to still be here for the trip to Detroit Friday and on to Boston Saturday is Corey Potter. Tortorella said he'd be sticking around for now.
Tortorella also mentioned twice how much he hates losing. Even though these are just preseason games, losing on consecutive games is eating at him a little.