In an effort to lighten the mood during the lockout, The New York Rangers Blog will be writing faux recaps of every Rangers game missed due to the work stoppage. Enjoy.
Newark, NJ – After a tense first preseason game in Albany, the re-match between the long time rival Rangers and Devils in Newark was more about prospects and training camp invitees trying to make an impression, as the Rangers came away with a 5-0 victory led by some familiar faces from the past.
For the second time in four years, the Rangers have brought Petr Nedved into camp on a tryout basis. But unlike his unsuccessful bid to make the team in 2008, he's brought some mates, Czech Mates. Yes, the Rangers have re-united the famed Czech Mates line by also extending training camp invites to Jan Hlavic and Radek Dvorak.
And Glen Sather's decision to bring them back looks to be already paying off, as they combined for three goals and three assists tonight.
"Wait, you really don't think those guys have a chance of making the team do you?," an exasperated John Tortorella explained. "Those three have absolutely no jam to their game. I'd rather have Zherdev back than those three clowns. I'm not sure the three of them know how to spell backcheck let alone do it."
One prospect that did catch the Rangers head coach's eye was Kyle Jean who chipped in with a goal and an assist.
"Good to see the kid make a name for himself for doing something other than almost ending Dylan McIlrath's career," Tortorella said.
While the 5-0 score may indicate a dominating Rangers effort from start to finish, the game was actually scoreless through one and half periods with the Blueshirts putting forth a lackluster effort.
That was until another new face trying to make the roster, Michael Haley, who the Rangers signed this past off-season, decided to do what he does best. Go after the opponent's goaltender to spark his team…
"It's about time we had a tough guy around here that actually did something," said Ryan Callahan, who was one of the few regulars to play tonight. "Look at the last three guys signed to bring toughness to the lineup. Brashear? If not for Redden, worst signing in Rangers history. Boogaard? Actually, team lawyers have told us we can't discuss Boogaard. Rupp? Still getting by on those two Winter Classic goals."
And boy did Haley's effort ignite the Rangers, as just 57 seconds after the medical crew scraped Devils goaltender Johan Hedberg off the ice, Ryan Bourque, who has a legit chance of making the Blueshirts roster out of camp, made an outstanding play in the defensive end and was rewarded when Marek Hrivik found him on the crease for the first of five straight Rangers goals to close out the game.
"Of course Ryan has a great chance of making the team. His father is Ray Bourque. You don't think he got this far on skill did you?," Tortorella explained.
The Rangers power play struggles from last year have seemed to follow them into the 2012-13 season as they are now a combined 0-for-10 in their first two preseason games.
"Seriously, if the power play sucks, what is it that this Mike Sullivan guy actually does around here?," said prospect Andrew Yogan, who continues to shoot himself in the foot with mental gaffes on and off the ice.
Rick Nash was a late scratch due to a shoulder cramp.
Henrik Lundqvist continued his torrid play against the Devils as he stopped 32 shots for the shutout.
"What's up with Lundqvist's bedazzled mask?," asked Devils head coach Peter DeBoer after the game. "The arena lights kept reflecting off that thing and into our players' eye so they couldn't see what they were shooting at."
The Rangers, who are now 1-0-1 in the preseason, are right back at it tomorrow night in Philadelphia.