Rangers Vs. Devils: Notes From The Rangers Opening Preseason Loss In New Jersey

Bruce Bennett

Notes from the Rangers first preseason game of the year.

- The New York Rangers dropped their first preseason game of the year Monday night, 2-1 to the New Jersey Devils.This has, of course, caused some to panic, but most fans took the game for exactly what it was: The first preseason game after a summer of change. You have to expect things to be a little rocky, especially at the onset.

- The Rangers scored a single goal in the game - which we'll get to later -- but the player who scored? Dominic Moore. Is there a player you're rooting harder for than Moore this year? Or any year? I don't care what team you support, I don't care what your feelings on the Rangers are, after everything Moore has been through it was fantastic to see him score his first goal in his first game back.

- Speaking of the goal itself. Did you notice where it came from? The front of the net. Marek Hrivik worked the puck behind the net, Danny Kristo (who was in front of the net) tried to bat it home, and it bounced out to Moore who put it away. Those are the types of goals the Rangers weren't scoring last year. The team made a big effort to crash the net Monday, and it obviously paid off there.

- Since we're talking about him, if Kristo plays like he did last night all through preseason, he's got a really good shot to make the team out of camp. Hrivik looked good, too.

- John Moore might have been the Rangers best player on Monday, and you can see why he had a chance to be so dynamic under Vigneault. When playing the point on the power play Moore wasn't afraid to shoot the puck, he also had a couple of fantastic passes that created great scoring chances. But, there were a few occasions where he had the puck and was lugging it into the zone (no more dump and chase on the power play, thankfully) and he drove to the front of the net to create something. Twice he almost scored. I think this kid is going to be special.

- I really liked what I saw from Chris Kreider. I liked it a lot. Him and Rick Nash (who was OK Monday) seemed to have a lot of chemistry going. Kreider used his size, speed and vision to make plays. He set up Nash for a semi-breakaway on a perfect breakout pass from his own zone, and had two or three scoring chances himself. He was also a force on the power play, planting himself in front of the net and causing havoc.

- Another player I liked? Marc Staal. He looked back to his old self, and was even on the point of the power play for some of the game. He shot the puck a lot more, and was more involved offensively than we're used to, but it's clear his eye isn't going to stop him from being the Marc Staal we all know.

- Brad Richards looked much better on Monday. He was solid on the puck, had one glorious scoring chance and centered the Rangers best line of the night with Nash and Kreider.

- Justin Falk was OK at times, but was mostly responsible for the Devils first goal and got beat on multiple occasions. Let's hope it was just opening night jitters.

- As a whole, the Rangers were bad in the first, better in the second and then much better in the third. Again, that's to be expected. Don't expect the Rangers to carry that third period momentum over to Philadelphia tonight, though, it's going to be a different set of players.

- Not many goals from the Rangers, and more 0-for's on the power play, but the team looked better with the man advantage as a whole. They moved the puck well, took shots when they had open lanes and had scoring chances. The goals will come, just give it time.

A quick turnaround for the Rangers who take on the Flyers tonight. But, what are your thoughts on Monday's game?

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