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Rangers drop back-to-backs; Nash continues to impress; Defensive problems sans Boyle

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Today's New York Rangers notes.

Bruce Bennett

Hey, do you remember the cool Monday morning notes we did late last season? They're back!

Three Stars of the Weekend

Number three: Anthony Duclair Not many Rangers forwards consistently were as active in the offensive zone as Duclair, and the 19-year-old rookie got on the NHL scoresheet for the first time with a two point night in Columbus. Duclair has been a strong possession player, and effective with whomever he's been paired with. He's not going anywhere.

Number two: Rick Nash This one really could have gone either way (with respect to the top star), but Nash scored two goals in five periods, all while thinking about his soon-to-be going into labor wife. Simply put, Nash has looked healthier and more confident this season.

Number one: Lee Stempniak Raise your hand if you had Stempniak as the Rangers best forward through three games of the season. Over the weekend, Stempniak scored two goals, while adding an assist, and playing in all three phases of the game rather effectively. He's been good playing with Dcualir, and really wherever Alain Vigneault has placed him.

What You Missed

Got a two-parter for you, as Duclair picks up his first career NHL point(s) with a pair of helpers.

Now, onto the notes.

The Rangers struggled in many areas Sunday night in their home opener, and got shellacked by Toronto 6-3. [Blueshirt Banter] [NY Post] [The Record] [Daily News] [Newsday] [Blueshirts United]

Special teams were certainly an area of weakness against the Maple Leafs, as the Rangers conceded two power play goals, while getting score on shorthanded. [Daily News]

But how about some happier moments from the home opener, like Nash continuing his goal scoring streak. [Blueshirt Banter]

Some more on Nash, who has really been one of the bigger and brighter storylines, and appears to be in top form as the Rangers season has begun. [Blueshirt Banter]

Defensively, and not on the power play, is where the Rangers will miss Dan Boyle most. [Blueshirt Banter] [NY Post]

Want to know more about Duclair? Here's a Q&A with the kid. [NY Post]

From Friday: Some key defensive lapses and glaring errors doomed the Rangers in a loss to the Blue Jackets. [Blueshirt Banter] [NY Post] [The Record] [Daily News] [Newsday]

Matthew Lombardi rejected his AHL assignment, and is likely headed toward a mutual buyout, and a return to Europe, while Michael Kostka was recalled from Hartford. [Blueshirt Banter]