How far will the Rangers get this season?

Debut Of The Big Guns

We'll get our first taste of Brad Richards in game action tonight

We'll get our first taste of Brad Richards in game action tonight

When: Friday, September 23, 7:00 p.m.

Opponent: @New Jersey Devils (1-0-0)


UPDATE (3:25 p.m.):

- The Rangers beat the Devils in overtime  in today's AHL/prospects exhibition game.  Jonathan Audy-Marchessaut scored the game-winner 16 seconds into overtime for the Blueshirts.  Ryan Bourque had two goals, J.T. Miller had one and Christian Thomas also scored.


UPDATE (11:45 a.m.):

- Though the five-forward combination used at practice this morning might not be a finished product, Coach John Tortorella said that he does plan to use a defense-less power play this season.  Tortorella doesn't want "to put any harness on Richie."  In other words, Torts knows the power play was a huge weakness last year, but he thinks that by giving Richards as many weapons as possible it could be much better this season.

- Marc Staal is being evaluated by specialists today.  The Rangers should know tomorrow whether or not he'll be able to travel with the team to Europe, but even if he misses the initial flight he may still meet the team later.

- 20-25 cuts will be announced tomorrow.



Wednesday night we saw the jayvee, tonight we’ll see the (mostly) varsity.

In the first meeting between these two teams the Devils dressed the likes of Ilya Kovalchuk, Patrick Elias and Zach Parise while the biggest names the Rangers had in the lineup were Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov and Dan Girardi.  The result was a 2-1 overtime loss in a dominating performance by the Devils.

But tonight we’ll see the big guns: the unveiling of the Wojtek Wolski/Brad Richards/Marian Gaborik line that has been so good in training camp, the reunion of 2/3 of last year’s greatest surprise, the Ruslan Fedotenko/Brian Boyle/Brandon Prust line, the debut of the team's new captain, Ryan Callahan, and the return of Derek Stepan, who’s looking to build off a huge rookie season.

In all, we could see three of the four lines that will be in the opening night lineup, at least three of the defensemen and backup goalie Martin Biron.

Tonight’s group would probably have fared a bit better against the Devils’ largely NHL bench from Wednesday and as such, expectations will be higher.

The outcome of the game isn’t so important, but tonight we should see a more organized effort.  The Boyle/Fedotenko tandem was intact for most of last year, McDonagh and Sauer were together for the whole second half of last season and Richards and Gaborik are so talented that they should be able to produce a little even if it is just preseason.

There will still be a few fringe players in the lineup as Coach John Tortorella tries to evaluate his young talent.  Dale Weise will get another shot after scoring the loan goal on Wednesday, speedster Carl Hagelin will continue to fight for a spot and well see if young defensemen Tim Erixon and Michael Del Zotto can be a bit more effective with a chance to calm down and a game out of the way.  Brendan Bell and Pavel Valentenko will also be worth keeping an eye on, as either could factor into the defensive rotation.

Once again, John Tortorella will be watching from above as he tries to determine which young players can help the Blueshirts now and which combinations of players give the Blueshirts the best chance for success this season.

It’s not a regular season tune-up just yet, but we’re quickly seeing the roster get whittled down as we prepare for what everyone expects to be a big season on Broadway.

Tonight’s projected lineup:

Wojtek Wolski/Brad Richards/Marian Gaborik

Carl Hagelin/Derek Stepan/Ryan Callahan

Rulsan Fedotenko/Brian Boyle/Mats Zuccarello

Mike Rupp/Kris Newbury/Dale Weise

Ryan McDonagh/Mike Sauer

Tim Erixon/Brendan Bell

Michael Del Zotto/Pavel Valentenko

Martin Biron/Chad Johnson

- The Blueshirts used five forwards on the power play during practice this morning.  Brad Richards and Wojtek Wolski occupied the points with Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky and Marian Gaborik up front.

- New York will also play New Jersey in an untelevised AHL/prospects game today at 1:00 p.m. ET.  Here’s the Rangers’ lineup for that game:

 Forwards: Audy-Marchessault, Bourque, Hickmott, McColgan, Miller, Rust, St. Croix, Tanski, Tessier, Thomas, Wilson, Yogan  

Defensemen: Bickel, Klassen, Kundratek, McIlrath, Niemi, Noreau

Goalies: Missiaen, Stajcer



For more from training camp:

Training Camp Roster And 6 Battles To Watch >

Training Camp Opens With "The Test" >

Staal Injury Overshadows Encouraging First Scrimmage >

Scrimmage Lines Provide Strong Clues To John Tortorella's Thinking >

Staal's Condition Growing Worrisome: Is A Veteran Defenseman Acquistion Coming? >

Rangers Contact Paul Mara's Agent As Concern Over Staal Grows >

Preseason Game #1 Preview: This Team Isn't Messing Around >

September 21 Training Camp Quick Hits >

Rangers Fall 2-1 In Underwhelming Preseason Opener > (9/21/11)

Dale Weise May Be Ready, But Is There Room For Him? >

Practice Lines May Reveal Where Everyone Currently Stands > (9/22/11)

Preseason Game #2 Preview: Debut Of The Big Guns > (9/23/11)



Click here for our full Summer 2011 Archive >

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Posted by Kevin Baumer | September 23, 2011 at 11:26 am

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New York Rangers VS Chicago Blackhawks
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

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