With a completely different lineup on hand, the New York Rangers were able to come away with their first preseason win, with a 3-2 over the Philadelphia Flyers. Derick Brassard, Darroll Powe, and Benoit Pouliot were the goal scorers for the Rangers, while Martin Biron and Cam Talbot had strong performances between the pipes. Dylan McIlrath also struggled for a better part of the game as two of his turnovers resulted in Flyer goals.
Just a few minutes into the game, there was a very scary incident that occurred in the offensive zone, as Jesper Fast collided knee-on-knee with Jason Akeson, and appeared to be in some pain. Luckily, Fast was able to shake it off on his way back to the bench. This was Fast's first game, and it definitely didn't start out the way he or the fans would have liked. Nonetheless though, he finished out the game with a solid performance, and looked very, very good on the power play.
His fellow Swede, Oscar Lindberg, also had a strong showing, and was a workhorse along the boards, and had some great passing. There's a reason he was the MVP of the Swedish Elite League, and that was on full display tonight. Both Fast and Lindberg are still strong contenders for a roster spot, and after their games tonight, Alain Vigneault will have a tough choice to make.
The Rangers started out the game much better than they did last night, and were able to hold the Flyers to just three shots, while also registering eight of their own on Steve Mason. However, the Rangers were able to break the tie just a minute into the second period as Derick Brassard ripped home a laser beam from the slot, and it beat Mason right under the glove hand. Anton Stralman made a great play at the blue line to keep the puck in, and Mats Zuccarello finished it off with a beautiful centering feed from behind the net.
Following the goalie change at the midway point, Cam Talbot didn't have the greatest of starts as Max Talbot sniped one over his left shoulder to tie the game at 1-1. To his aid though, McIlrath's turnover in the defensive zone was a direct result of the odd-man rush, and Talbot just picked apart the corner on Talbot (ha, that was a weird sentence).
In the final thirty seconds of the period, the Rangers were able to grab the lead back once again, as Darroll Powe redirected a shot from Andrew Yogan. The puck seemed to fool Mason as if flipped over his pad, and trickled into the net. Believe it or not, but that was Powe's first goal as Ranger, and it came during the preseason.
That lead wouldn't last long however, as McIlrath made another stupid turnover behind the net, and Sean Couturier poked home the loose puck in front. The Rangers would close out the scoring just three minutes later as Benoit Pouliot also scored his first as a Ranger, on a spectacular pass from Derick Brassard.
Speaking of Brassard, he has been living up to the coaches word, and began right where he left off last season. With Derek Stepan's situation still in limbo, Derick Brassard could likely take over the number one center role if this contract fiasco isn't settled by October.
The Rangers will have just under a week of rest before they come back next week and play four games in five nights on their Western road swing. They'll play the Calgary Flames on Monday night, followed by games against the Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, and Los Angeles Kings the rest of the week.