Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rangers vs Devils Recap; Who Stood Out, Who Fell Down

The Rangers blew a two goal lead tonight, but pulled out the 4-3 win in another sloppy preseason performance. The Rangers got off to a slow start when Brian Boyle took a penalty just 38 seconds into the game.  During the ensuing power play Brendan Bell could not control the pick and Adam Henrique made then pay just 1:32 into the game.

The Rangers responded when their top line created a series of chances ending with Brad Richards scoring 4:22 in. Derek Stepan kept it going with a beautiful snipe at the 5:43 mark.  After Bryce Salvador took a bad interference penalty to open the second period Marian Gaborik made it 3-1 just 1:32 in. The goal was on a scramble play in the slot where Gaborik pounced bringing back memories of 2009-10 when he vultured so many goals.

The Devils got one back during 4-on- 4 action at 7:36. Brad Richards over stickhandling in his own end turned the puck over to Kovalchuk leading to a Josefson backhand goal top shelf.  Late in the second Ilya Kovalchuk tied it 3-3 with just one second left on a two man advantage. Once again Kovalchuk scored on the Rangers because he was given way too much time and space.

Brendan Bell scored with just 3:04 left to give the Rangers the lead back. After the goal Mike Rupp and Eric Boulton dropped the gloves for an excellent fight.  With just 2:22 left the Devils momentarily appeared to tie three game, but the goal was waived off after Palmieri was called for goalie interference. The Devils swarmed late, but couldn't tie it.

Few standout performances from this one, as, only Stepan, McDonagh and Sauer really had good games.
Zuccarello, Richards, Gaborik had moments, but nothing consistent.  Really liked what Mike Rupp brought to the team.

Valentenko clearly wasn't ready for the NHL tonight, Erixon was still playing scared and Del Zotto other than one stretch in the third was still struggling.