The New York Rangers defeated HC Sparta in their first European exhibition game in Prague, Czech Republic. The Rangers went into this game with line combinations of Wolski-Richards-Gaborik, Dubinsky-Anisimov-Callahan, Fedotenko-Christensen-Prust, Rupp-Stepan-Zuccarello. Boyle was obviously left out of this game, as he was sent home after he was found to have the flu.
Also, the defensive pairings were as follows: McDonagh-Eminger, Erixon-Bell, Del Zotto-Bickel. Mart Biron got the start for the Rangers, and had a VERY good game, earning a shutout. HC Sparta had quality chances all throughout the first, but Biron stood tall. The Rangers turned it around in the second period, and had two scoring chances that came from Marian Gaborik and Ryan McDonagh. Artem Anisimov finally got the Rangers on the board, with a great play that was started by Brandon Dubinsky.
Follow after the jump for more.The Rangers had a handful of powerplay opportunities throughout the game, and finally got on the board with a powerplay goal. Ruslan Fedotenko scored off a great pass from Michael Del Zotto, and gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead in the second period. Derek Stepan was also credited with an assist on the play.
The Rangers held on to their 2-0 through the rest of the third period, and went on to win. Marty Biron was recorded with the shutout. According to some of the beat writers, Christensen had a sub-par game, which only hurts his chances even more at making the opening night roster.
The line-up that was out there today, pretty much resembles the opening night roster, of course with some minor tweaks, and adding back Brian Boyle. Also Brandon Prust made his return in this game, playing his first game since training camp. Prust was held out of scrimmages to help ensure that his shoulder was fully healed, following his off-season surgery.
Tortorella also gave an update on Marc Staal following the game. He stated that Staal will practice with the Connecticut Whale tomorrow, and if all goes well, he will fly over to Europe during the weekend. Staal did state that he was feeling much better today, this is definitely a good sign.
The Rangers will take on Frolunda tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 PM. This game will be televised on MSG, and we will have an open game thread, starting at 12:30 PM. Hope to see everyone there!