Through 16 games, Oscar Lindberg is tied for third in the Swedish Elite League with 8 goals and 9 assists.

Three of his goals have come on the power play and two have been game winners.

In speaking with Lindberg, he cited filling out his body more as a reason why he has had such a hot start, "It probably depends on several things, I have improved physically and I have also had a major role on the team. I got a good start this year and it has continued."

As of yesterday Lindberg led the entire Swedish Elite League in shots with 58 and says that he hasn't really changed his approach other than trying to get better "if you shoot a lot the chances are bigger that you make goals. My shots are something that I try to improve all the time in practice."

Lindberg added that he enjoyed being being known as a strong two-way forward who is strong in the faceoff circle, but also understands that he has more to give on offense, "Obviously I want to develop my offensive game further. That's something I feel I have lost a bit in recent years as I have been playing in a more defensive role. It's fun to help with the offense."


CLICK HERE for much more on Oscar Lindberg

 

Tags: Oscar Lindberg, Editorial Aside

Apr 9, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) looks to pass the puck during the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Apr 9, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) looks to pass the puck during the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

When asked what the Rangers can do better to limit turnovers, Alain Vigneault said Saturday that they need to make better decisions with the puck.

Ryan McDonagh said that the Rangers are trying to force things and that the for them to be successful they need to play as a unit of five, play fast and understand where each other are on the ice.

Rick Nash said that the Rangers need to simplify their game and stick with a simple game, even when they are struggling. (NYR Game Notes)

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Tonight against the Penguins, the Rangers are expected to start with the lines as (NYR):

  • Rick Nash, Mika Zibanejad, Mats Zuccarello
  • Chris Kreider, David Desharnais, JT Miller
  • Jimmy Vesey, Kevin Hayes, Jesper Fast
  • Michael Grabner, Adam Cracknell, Pavel Buchnevich

Alain Vigneault said today that Cracknell has played center "quite a bit" and that Lindy Ruff said that he played Cracknell at center about 50% of the time last season.

On defense the plan is similar to Saturday's loss in New Jersey, with Ryan McDonagh and Anthony DeAngelo, Marc Staal and Kevin Shattenkirk, Brady Skjei and Brendan Smith. (NYR)

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New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault gives instructions during an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (Gene J. Puskar/AP)
New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault gives instructions during an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Alain Vigneault met with the media this morning and said (NYR):

  • Is Cracknell in today, "yes, he is playing. Four lines and 6 D."
  • How much center has he played, "quite a bit. Lindy said that he used him there more than 50% of the time last year so he is used to playing there and he will be effective for us."
  • On JT Miller's season, "JT has always been good on faceoffs, especially on the strong side, good technique and strength and has been efficient for us. As far as his play, like the rest of our team, especially on offense, just a little bit off and that is one of the reasons that when you have guys with that skill level, that can play a power game are having a tough time helping us score goals, we haven't scored a lot of goals this year. We are looking to play a solid two-way game and finish a bit more on the opportunities we are getting."
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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Brady Skjei said on Monday that spirits in the Rangers locker room are "still high" and that while it's been a frustrating start, "there is a lot of fight in this room" and the Rangers are trying to improve every day. (NYR)

Skjei added that the Rangers are a "tight knit" group and that no one is giving up or quitting. (NYR)

Alain Vigneault said on Monday that no one is happy with where the Rangers are right now but that these struggles will help to form the team's identity.

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Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) takes a shot against Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) in the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash (61) takes a shot against Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) in the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

Only 6 of the Rangers 13 goals so far this season have come at 5 on 5 while the Rangers have allowed 12 goals at 5 on 5.

The Rangers had two 5 on 5 goals against the Leafs and Canadiens and one each against the Blue Jackets and Devils this past weekend. (Natural Stat Trick)

Alain Vigneault said that the Rangers are aware of their scoring issues so far and that they are working on being more efficient with the puck while trying to make plays.

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Alain Vigneault met with the media following practice on Monday and said (NYR):

  • On practice, "we had a good practice, worked on a couple of areas we needed to work on. A little bit of forecheck and zone time and got a lot out of it."
  • On the lack of even strength scoring, "we are aware of it. Right now, except for that Toronto game where we scored 4 goals at 5 on 5, the other 5 games we have only scored two goals at 5 on 5. It's definitely an area we are working on, being more efficient coming into the zone and making certain plays and trusting their instincts. These guys have had pretty good numbers and we have done it on a four line basis and there is no doubt that we, in my estimation, improved the defensive side of the game but we need to score some goals and focus on our offensive zone. We get another opportunity tomorrow.' 
  • "For me, I see this as us being challenged, we are feeling adversity as a group and the solution lies inside that room. As a player you control what you can control, hard work, prep, making sure you analyze your game properly so that you can focus on the areas that you need to improve. That is where coaching comes in, to provide the right feedback and if we get our guys to improve their games individually, team will benefit, play better and win. When you win you are happy and when you don't win it's a little more challenging."
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

12:13PM: At Rangers practice on Monday, the team is using the following lines (Cyrgalis):

  • Rick Nash, Mika Zibanejad, Mats Zuccarello
  • Chris Kreider, David Desharnais, JT Miller
  • Jimmy Vesey, Kevin Hayes, Jesper Fast
  • Michael Grabner, Paul Carey, Adam Cracknell/Pavel Buchnevich.

On defense, the Rangers have Ryan McDonagh with Tony DeAngelo, Brady Skjei with Brendan Smith, Marc Staal with Kevin Shattenkirk, Nick Holden with Steven Kampfer. (Cyrgalis)

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Ryan McDonagh said on Saturday that hopefully this was "rock bottom early on" for the Rangers and that this is a real "gut check" time."

McDonagh said that the Rangers have no one to blame but themselves and that an inability to play a 60 minute game has been the story so far this season.

He said that there is an understanding of the expectations both for the team and individually and that the Rangers need to play with more "edge and desperation."

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ryan McDonagh said on Saturday that this group of Rangers is not going to quit and that he knows that to be a "fact."

McDonagh said that the Rangers need to keep working, trust their system and play a game with more edge and more desperation.

He added that this group of players understand that their recent play is not good enough and that if they don't then "something is wrong."

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Sep 25, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Anthony DeAngelo (77) carries the puck during the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Sep 25, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Anthony DeAngelo (77) carries the puck during the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

10/16/17 |Alain Vigneault said on Monday, of DeAngelo's game on Saturday, "he had some real good moments and decisions with the puck, there is no doubt that the upside is there. His penalty was costly, he pushed the guy a little bit, fell on the goalie and the ref looking right at it he didn't call it, the ref 80ft behind calls it. I'm thinking that if he is a more veteran guy he probably doesn't get that call. He needs to establish himself, establish that respect with the refs. He had some good moments, I like the skill level and he did some good things."

10/15/17 | In his return to the lineup last night, Anthony DeAngelo was a minus one, had 3 shots on goal, 1 shot that missed the net, 2 hits and 2 giveaways.

DeAngelo was also called for a cross checking penalty early in the third period that led to the winning goal for the Devils.

Tags: Anthony DeAngelo
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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Following Friday's loss to Columbus, Henrik Lundqvist said that "turnovers" are killing the Rangers and preventing them from playing fast.

Following Saturday's loss to New Jersey, Brady Skjei said that "turnovers" are killing the Rangers and preventing them from playing fast. (MSG)

Asked what changed after a strong first period on Saturday, Alain Vigneault said "turnovers. We turned the puck over and couldn't play as fast as we did in the first period."

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Sep 20, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) celebrates his game winning overtime goal against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Sep 20, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) celebrates his game winning overtime goal against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

The Wolf Pack defeated Springfield 4-3 last night on the back of a 3-point performance from Filip Chytil:

  • John Gilmour: 1 goal, 1 shot, plus one, interference penalty
  • Neal Pionk: 4 shots
  • Adam Tambellini: 5 shots
  • Brandon Crawley: 1 shot, cross checking penalty
  • Steven Fogarty: 1 shot, minus one
  • Boo Nieves: 1 goal, 2 shots, minus one, hooking penalty
  • Ryan Graves: 1 shot, plus one
  • Gabriel Fontaine: 1 shot, minus one
  • Alexei Bereglazov: 1 assist, holding penalty
  • Filip Chytil: 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 shots, plus three
  • Matt Puempel: 2 shots
  • Vinni Lettieri: 1 goal, 1 assist, 6 shots, plus three, slashing penalty
Tags: Filip Chytil
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Apr 14, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault leaves the ice after the first period in game two of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)
Apr 14, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault leaves the ice after the first period in game two of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on MSG following the Rangers loss to New Jersey and said:

  • What changed in the second, "turnovers. We turned the puck over and couldn't play as fast as we did in the first period and they capitalized on a couple of their looks."
  • How do you prevent the turnovers, "it's better decision making. We obviously came out real strong and made the right decisions with the puck which permitted us to play a fast game. We weren't able to capitalize on some of our looks but you gotta keep playing the right way and if you do you will be rewarded. In the second period we had too many costly turnovers. We started off the third with a couple of unwarranted penalties on our part. Tried to battle back and came up short."
  • On 11 forwards and 7 D, "we played back to back, I just felt that tonight that gave us the best chance to win."
  • On the injuries, "no, at the end of the day everybody that I thought was questionable ended up playing."
  • On Jesper Fast, "he looked alright for having no exhibition games, didn't have a lot of practice on a regular line. Skated well and competed real hard like he always does."
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Apr 9, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) looks to pass the puck during the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Apr 9, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) looks to pass the puck during the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Ryan McDonagh met with the media on MSG following the Rangers loss to the Devils and said:

  • Another game without a 60 minute effort, "it's been the story thus far in our season. There is no one to blame but ourselves, the guys in this room, the guys that are in the lineup every night. Our coaches are preparing us and we are going to our meetings and know what is expected us but we are not performing, playing the way we need to play. Every single one of us, maybe 1-2 guys going a night and that is not a winning formula. We need to keep our heads up and work hard and find a way to get better results individually and as a group."
  • What happens when the game turns, "certainly when it's not going your way you are probably trying to force it too much. You want to go out there and make a difference on every shift but you have to understand that for our group to be successful you gotta do it together as a unit of five and move the puck and play fast and know where each other are on the ice. We get disjointed at times and we lose our focus and structure and we get hurt there."
Tags: Ryan McDonagh
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Oct 14, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing Drew Stafford (18) sends the puck past New York Rangers goalie Ondrej Pavelec (31) to score during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Anthony Gruppuso)
Oct 14, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing Drew Stafford (18) sends the puck past New York Rangers goalie Ondrej Pavelec (31) to score during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

First period:

  • No goals

Second period:

  • 5:31 NYR Rick Nash; Assists: David Desharnais
  • 10:21 NJD Adam Henrique; Assists: Brian Gibbons
  • 16:41 NJD Miles Wood; Assists: Ben Lovejoy, Will Butcher

Third period:

  • 1:00  NJD Drew Stafford (Power Play); Assists: Will Butcher, Nico Hischier
  • 19:03 NYR Kevin Shattenkirk; Assists: J.T. Miller
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New York Rangers' Antti Raanta (32), Henrik Lundqvist (30), Derek Stepan (21) and Ryan McDonagh (27) shake hands with Mark Stone (61), Alex Burrows (14) and Zack Smith (15) after Game 6 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 9, 2017, in New York. The Senators won 4-2. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Rangers' Antti Raanta (32), Henrik Lundqvist (30), Derek Stepan (21) and Ryan McDonagh (27) shake hands with Mark Stone (61), Alex Burrows (14) and Zack Smith (15) after Game 6 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 9, 2017, in New York. The Senators won 4-2. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

The New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils are coming off disappointing losses Friday night.

Only one team will exit the ice satisfied with the outcome Saturday night when the Devils and Rangers begin their season series at Madison Square Garden.

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New York Rangers right wing Jesper Fast (19) celebrates his goal against the Ottawa Senators with defenceman Brendan Smith (42) and defenceman Brady Skjei (76) during the first period in game five of a second-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series in Ottawa on Saturday, May 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld (Adrian Wyld)
New York Rangers right wing Jesper Fast (19) celebrates his goal against the Ottawa Senators with defenceman Brendan Smith (42) and defenceman Brady Skjei (76) during the first period in game five of a second-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series in Ottawa on Saturday, May 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld (Adrian Wyld)

7:02PM: The Rangers are going with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen with Tony DeAngelo returning to the lineup and both Adam Cracknell and Paul Carey being scratched. (MSG)

5:29PM: Alain Vigneault spoke with the media before the game and said (NYR):

  • "the only thing I know for sure tonight is Pavs going in and Quickie has been cleared to play so he is going to play. We've got 3 question marks that I will only know after warmups. A couple of bumps and bruises and we will sort this out up front and on D."
  • On Pavelec, "it's very important, if you look at our backups and their records since I have been here, their winning percentages have been excellent. Very confident, Pavs has been working hard and doing a lot of extra with Benoit and tonight he gets his first chance to start his first game as as Ranger. I expect the group in front of him to be engaged for 60 minutes and to play real hard."
  • On Fast, "like I said a couple of days ago, he was cleared medically, a matter of him feeling physically on the ice he was where he needed to be. We would not put him on back to back situations so I had a feeling we would be good for tonight and tonight is his first night."
  • "I think our schedule is pretty good here moving forward. Any time you come back from a serious injury you are in constant communication with the medical staff. He has been feeling real well and followed all the rehab he had to do, he was on schedule. This is 5 months, I think, right to the letter."
  • On the Devils, "combo of real good speed, goaltending has been very good. Playing with a lot of confidence and fast, a tough opponent for us."
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Heading into tonight's sixth game of the season against the Devils, the Rangers are 1-4, last in the Metro and have a minus 7 goal differential.

Mats Zuccarello said that they can't start to panic but that if the Rangers want "to win hockey games" they need to play better. (Newsday)

Rick Nash said that the Rangers are going through a "tough time" and need to stay together. (MSG)

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Oct 7, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) tries to control the puck as Toronto Maple Leafs center Patrick Marleau (12) backchecks at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)
Oct 7, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) tries to control the puck as Toronto Maple Leafs center Patrick Marleau (12) backchecks at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)

The Wolf Pack beat the Toronto Marlies 5-2 last night with Filip Chytil playing his first AHL game:

  • John Gilmour: 3 shots, plus one
  • Neal Pionk: 1 shot, plus one
  • Adam Tambellini: 1 goal, 3 shots
  • Brandon Crawley: slashing penalty, 1 shot
  • Steven Fogarty: 1 shot, plus two
  • Boo Nieves: 1 goal, 1 assist, 4 shots, minus one
  • Ryan Graves: 1 assist, 1 shot
  • Gabriel Fontaine: nothing on scoresheet
  • Alexei Bereglazov: 1 assist, 1 shot, plus one
  • Filip Chytil: 1 shot, plus one, tripping & high sticking penalty
  • Matt Puempel: 1 goal, 3 shots, plus one
  • Vinni Lettieri: 3 shots
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Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save in net against Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Cam Atkinson (13) and left wing Artemi Panarin (9) in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save in net against Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Cam Atkinson (13) and left wing Artemi Panarin (9) in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

Alain Vigneault said that the Rangers were "totally dominated" in the third period last night and that the Rangers need to put together a 60 minute effort.

He said that at times the Rangers had some real good moments but "in the third we certainly weren't good enough."

The Rangers were out-attempted 25-13 in the third period and out-shot 18-9. (Hockey Stats)

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New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault talks to reporters after a practice in Tarrytown, N.Y., Tuesday, April 25, 2017. The Rangers have advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and will open the series against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault talks to reporters after a practice in Tarrytown, N.Y., Tuesday, April 25, 2017. The Rangers have advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and will open the series against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on MSG following the Rangers loss in Columbus and said:

  • On the game, "again, tonight, we didn't play 60 minutes. They get that first goal that deflected off of us and we didn't respond well in the third. They totally dominated us in the third period. Right now every line seems to have one guy really fighting it, one guy just playing okay and it's not good enough right now. We definitely need to get our game in order. It's there for spurts, for moments but in this league, a competitive league you need to play for 60 minutes and we aren't doing it right now."
  • On the turnovers, "we have a few issues, there is no doubt, this group can play a lot better than it is right now. We gotta focus right now on tomorrow, for moments we looked real good , looked like we could make plays and defend bu we didn't put it together, there is no doubt."
  • "It's going to happen in a 60 minute game where the other team gets some looks and some momentum, that is when you need to respond on the next shift. Tonight we had some real good moments but in the third we certainly weren't good enough."
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Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save in net against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Oct 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save in net against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

Henrik Lundqvist met with the media on MSG following the Rangers loss in Columbus and said:

  • On the third, "just coming up short. It's not enough, we need more, obviously. We aren't getting wins and it's not good. There are a lot of areas we are doing well but the one thing we have to clean up is the amount of turnovers. Turnovers are killing us. We are a fast team when we put the puck in the right place but now we have to defend a lot because of turnovers. That is something we have to discuss and do better. Other than that it's a lot of good things, special teams are doing a good job. The intensity is out there, it's just turnovers. We work on that and we start winning."
  • On things you can control, "if you look at the chances they had tonight, I think most of it we brought on ourselves. It happens and it's a fast game and a game of mistakes because of the pressure. Just have to make sure it's not too many. We had our chances to go up 2-0 in the second period and instead they get the late one, a bad bounce and it's a different game going into the third."
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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Rangers right wing Pavel Buchnevich (89) plays the puck against Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Gabriel Carlsson (53) in the first period. (Aaron Doster)
Rangers right wing Pavel Buchnevich (89) plays the puck against Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Gabriel Carlsson (53) in the first period. (Aaron Doster)

First period:

  • 14:15 NYR Kevin Hayes

Second period:

  • 19:14 CBJ Seth Jones Assists: Zach Werenski, Alexander Wennberg

Third period:

  • 7:25 CBJ Artemi Panarin Assists: Seth Jones, Zach Werenski
  • 19:54 CBJ Lukas Sedlak (ENG) Assists: Ryan Murray
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Dec 15, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault during the game against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. The Rangers shut out the Stars 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Dec 15, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault during the game against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. The Rangers shut out the Stars 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on Friday prior to the Rangers game against Columbus and said (NYR):

  • On what he wants to see from Brendan Smith, "he's gonna play a good game for us, Brendan knows his strengths, is a physical player. When he has a good gap he is very effective and we look to him to have a real strong game for us."
  • On what to do with DeAngelo, "I'm gonna get him back in. If you look at his overall camp, he had a good camp, a tougher game in Toronto, I went with 7D and he didn't play much. I wanted to get Kampf and Holden in, it's a game of numbers. We have 8 guys right now. I love that skill set, love that he is a right handed shot, for us there is a lot of potential there. It's a long season and you try to sort things out. You look at all of the teams know, who they are playing in certain situations and who is in and out of the lineup and I can tell you that come game 60-70 it won't be the same thing. Everyone is trying to figure out if their young players can do it, if some other guys can have a bigger role. That is just part of the process of a start of the season. At the same time we are trying to win games and that is what we will do tonight."
  • On Columbus, "same type of team, they come after you, they are going to forecheck hard, they defend well, gotten some sound goaltending. It's a good test to know where we are as a team, we put some new lines together, the only line we kept together is Mika's line. I'm hoping to see something from the other three lines and our D group, which I believe is a real strong group, to play a good game and this is a real tough building to play in so we will find out a lot about ourselves tonight."
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Apr 29, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save in the second period of game two in the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)
Apr 29, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save in the second period of game two in the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)

The Rangers (1-3) visit the Blue Jackets Friday night in Columbus.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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Oct 10, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella looks from behind the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Columbus defeated Carolina 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
Oct 10, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella looks from behind the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Columbus defeated Carolina 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

6:06PM: Tortorella said before the game about the Rangers, "You are with an organization for five years, I live in the area during the summer. I have some great friends there. The team is different now as the league is, people are coming and going, but to me it's never been, 'it's the Rangers, lets kick them. I end up seeing a lot of good friends when they come in. I spent a number of years there so it's part of me. I'm coaching another team but that is still part of me, being part of that organization and I loved coaching there. That is all I can think of. It's not being upset about something, it's good to see the guys and I got a couple of texts last night but then once you start playing you are playing." (CBJ)

2:04PM: Columbus coach John Tortorella said on Thursday that the Rangers will be "champing at the bit" on Friday against the Blue Jackets. (The Athletic)

Tortorella said that the Rangers are a "good team," have "great goaltending" and that it will be a "hard game" for his Columbus team. (The Athletic)

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Nov 6, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) against the Winnipeg Jets during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Nov 6, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) against the Winnipeg Jets during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

Against Columbus tonight, the Rangers are expected to go with a defense group that includes:

  • Ryan McDonagh paired with Nick Holden
  • Marc Staal paired with Kevin Shattenkirk
  • Brady Skjei paired with Brendan Smith

Vigneault said that the Rangers defense is a work in progress as they try and find some duos that have chemistry.

He said that Smith and Skjei had good chemistry last season and that the Rangers want Ryan McDonagh playing on the left side.

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May 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; The New York Rangers salute their fans after defeating the Ottawa Senators in game four of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; The New York Rangers salute their fans after defeating the Ottawa Senators in game four of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

On Wednesday, Alain Vigneault said that the Rangers are a "work in progress" and trying to find their identity.

Following Tuesday's loss to St. Louis, Vigneault said that the Rangers are getting a lot of offensive chances from Mika Zibanejad's line but that he is still looking for chemistry with his other two scoring lines.

Vigneault, on Wednesday, reiterated that there is a search for chemistry when it comes to putting the forward lines together and that the forwards and defense need to get on the same page so the Rangers can play a faster game.

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Apr 27, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers left wing J.T. Miller (10) shoots the puck in the second period against the Ottawa Senators in game one in the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)
Apr 27, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers left wing J.T. Miller (10) shoots the puck in the second period against the Ottawa Senators in game one in the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)

Alain Vigneault said on Thursday that he thinks JT Miller is more effective on the wing and that Miller lprefers to play on the wing.

Miller was skating at practice today with David Desharnais and Jimmy Vesey.

Vigneault said that Miller can get in on the forecheck, protect the puck and get in front of the net more while skating on the wing and the Rangers need him to do that.

Miller saw time at center in parts of the Rangers previous three games and said that he was feeling comfortable in the middle but had to make some adjustments.

Tags: J.T. Miller
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Mar 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault directs his team against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)
Mar 31, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault directs his team against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on Thursday after practice and said (NYR):

  • On Shattenkirk, "Kevin, like the rest of our team, is a work in progress. He has been very efficient on the PP but like the rest of our team, 5 on 5, there is definitely room for improvement there. It's normal, you come from another organization, two really but one he was with for a long time, it takes a little while to adjust to teammates, environment, style of play. He's going to be fine, smart young man, real good work ethic and he will fit in real good."
  • On the defense changes, "right now, work in progress, trying to find combos and duos that can be real successful and bring us wins, trying to sort that out on defense. Obviously putting Smytty with Brady, they had good chemistry. Now we have to sort out, I think by having Mac on the right side, as much as he can play both sides, we lose a little bit of him being able to jump into the play and keeps puck in the offensive zone because he is so much more comfortable and better on the left side than right side. We decided to put him back there so that changes our dynamics of our back end because we want that strength in our lineup. Just trying to sort things out right now and figure out if we are going to have a shutdown pair like we have in the past or are we going to have a group of six with that mandate. We need a bit more time here and we said that at the start of the season."
  • On better starts, "there is no doubt that in the first four games, other than the Montreal one, even the Montreal one where we had a lot of turnovers and spent time in our own end, if you get behind, it's a tough league. Positive thing, for me, is that we got behind and tied it up, that shows a lot of character and resiliency in the room. Last game we went down and tried to come down and had a real strong push and their goaltender was the difference in the third. There are some things to build on but we aren't going to hide, we have room to improve and I believe this group will do it, very hard working group."
  • On McDonagh and Shattenkirk, "Shatty has to have a little bit of time to get adjusted here, he has had a different role in the past. This is an adjustment and playing against top-six forwards. I think he is on the verge, 5 on 5, of understanding what we are looking for and being a real effective player for us. Is that going to be with Mac or someone else, right now he is with Marc Staal and time will tell."
  • On Pavel Buchenvich, "there is no doubt, he came to camp better prepared. Because he was better prepared it shows, he is getting some good looks. That line has had some real good moments and that the chemistry will continue. He's still got a lot of room for improvement and with that skill set, he can be a real solid player and he is trying to get better and we are trying to get him better."
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

5:19PM: While speaking about the starts on Thursday, Alain Vigneault said "there is no doubt that in the first four games, other than the Montreal one, even the Montreal one where we had a lot of turnovers and spent time in our own end, if you get behind, it's a tough league. Positive thing, for me, is that we got behind and tied it up, that shows a lot of character and resiliency in the room. Last game we went down and tried to come down and had a real strong push and their goaltender was the difference in the third. There are some things to build on but we aren't going to hide, we have room to improve and I believe this group will do it, very hard working group."

3:33PM: Kevin Shattenkirk said on Thursday that the Rangers need to "reset" a bit and be ready to play their best game against Columbus. (NYR)

He said that the Rangers have been getting off to slow starts and then puts them in a position where they sometimes start to stretch out and become disconnected on the ice. (NYR)

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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

12:14PM: At Rangers practice on Thursday, the team is using the following lines and defense pairs (Cyrgalis): 

  • Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Mats Zuccarello
  • Rick Nash, Kevin Hayes, Mats Zuccarello
  • Jimmy Vesey, David Desharnais, JT Miller
  • Michael Grabner, Paul Carey, Adam Cracknell

Ryan McDonagh & Nick Holden, Marc Staal & Kevin Shattenkirk, Brady Skjei & Brendan Smith.

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Oct 10, 2017; New York, NY, USA; St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko (55) knocks down New York Rangers center Paul Carey (28) during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 10, 2017; New York, NY, USA; St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko (55) knocks down New York Rangers center Paul Carey (28) during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Alain Vigneault said that the Rangers have a lot of room for improvement and that every player and coach would agree.

He added that the areas where the Rangers have to improve are "pretty simple" and that they need to take things one day at a time.

On Wednesday, Vigneault said that the Rangers have "quite a few areas of improvement" and that "our situation is that we need to get better."

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Oct 10, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (18) checks St. Louis Blues left wing Magnus Paajarvi (56) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 10, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (18) checks St. Louis Blues left wing Magnus Paajarvi (56) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

In the middle of Saturday's loss to Toronto, Alain Vigneault moved Marc Staal up in the rangers lineup and paired him with Ryan McDonagh on the Rangers top pair.

In the season opener, Staal played 15:20 and, since being moved up, has played 18:51 (Toronto), 19:08 (Montreal) and 18:43 against St. Louis.

Vigneault said on Tuesday that he felt Staal was playing "some pretty solid hockey" when the change was made and that Ryan McDonagh, who was moved to the right side, is good at making adjustments.

Tags: Marc Staal
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Jan 4, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault behind the bench against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. The Rangers defeated the Flyers, 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Jan 4, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault behind the bench against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. The Rangers defeated the Flyers, 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on Tuesday and said (NYR):

  • On Jesper Fast, "this morning he did his on-ice testing and had the fourth best score of our whole group. I think he is closing in here, might need a couple of practices, not sure of the time length, I haven't talked to our doctor or Rammer, but I will at some point today or tomorrow. I would say a week to 10 days he should be ready to go."
  • What do you miss most from him, "It's not one player, Quickie is an important player to our group but right now, we are a work in progress. We are trying to sort out our identity, trying to sort out the chemistry, whether it be in duos and linemates. It's where we are. We have a lot of work ahead of us, everyone wants to put in the work and effort that is needed. We had a good day today as far as some video and on ice stuff. Tomorrow we will have a good practice and get ready for Columbus."
  • Was this a set day for skill work, "this was planned quite some time back. We look at the schedule and plan what is ahead, what we should be doing on certain days. I know that the results aren't what we want them to be but we have a plan, it's a smart plan. It's a plan that I want executed. We know what is ahead of us and today was a good day for us."
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

10/13 | 6:11PM: Alain Vigneault said on Friday before the game against Columbus:

  • On Jesper Fast, "he is closing in, I would say that he is very close to getting in the lineup. He's been cleared medically, physically, just a matter of how he feels and him talking with our doctors."
  • How does Fast change the forward group, 'it gives us an experienced player that can help us 5 on 5 and help us to kill penalties. When he is healthy and tells us that he can play and the docs say that he is good to go then he will get in the lineup."

10/11 | 2:04PM: Alain Vigneault said on Tuesday about Fast, "this morning he did his on-ice testing and had the fourth best score of our whole group. I think he is closing in here, might need a couple of practices, not sure of the time length, I haven't talked to our doctor or Rammer, but I will at some point today or tomorrow. I would say a week to 10 days he should be ready to go." (NYR)

Tags: Jesper Fast
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Oct 10, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) plays the puck in front of St. Louis Blues center Brayden Schenn (10) and New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 10, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) plays the puck in front of St. Louis Blues center Brayden Schenn (10) and New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Rangers allowed a goal 15 seconds into last night's loss to St. Louis and allowed two goals overall in the first period.

The Rangers have allowed at least 2 goals in the first period in 3 of their 4 games this season and against Montreal on Sunday they had two goals against that were disallowed.

Ryan McDonagh said after the game that the Rangers "started out slow again" and that it took a period for the Rangers to get their legs going and to get engaged. (MSG)

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Mar 9, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault reacts during the third period against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Hurricanes defeated the Rangers 4-3. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
Mar 9, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault reacts during the third period against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Hurricanes defeated the Rangers 4-3. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

Alain Vigneault met with the media following the Rangers loss to St. Louis and said (MSG):

  • On getting better starts, "the start tonight is a turnover right off the hop and the puck ends up in the back of our net. No doubt that in the first two periods we didn't generate a lot, yes they were good defensively but in the third we brought more energy and will power and spent a lot more time in their end and we finally got some pretty good looks but weren't able to score."
  • On the level of concern right now, "there is definitely a lot of room for improvement and I think every player and coach would tell you the same thing. Gotta take it one day at a time and keep improving our game. The areas of improvement are pretty simple and that is what we will get back to work on tomorrow."
  • "Mike's line is generating quite a few chances, in the third anyway and on the initial PP, after that it was ordinary. The other two lines right now, I'm looking for a little bit more chemistry to create more and we will work on that tomorrow."
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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Henrik Lundqvist met with the media following the Rangers loss to St. Louis and said:

  • On the early goal, "it just means that it's a game where you have to be strong mentally. I think I played a pretty solid game, made some good saves but it's not the start we are looking for. We talked about how important it is that first shift to set the tone. It's tougher for everyone when you get behind a goal like that. They are a good team, we did not get a lot of open chances in front. We had to work really hard to get in front of the net, that is why they are a good team. After the first couple of minutes we settled down and played a strong game but you need a little extra to get in front to create the big chances."
  • On Schenn's goal, "honestly, I don't know how that finds the net. It was frustrating to see it go in, it was a quick play from the boards, I don't know if it's off my skate and up. From that angle it was tough to see. After that we regrouped as a team, and played a strong game it was just not enough. We had some good looks to tie it up but he made some saves. With some luck we could have easily tied the game. We have a few days to regroup and we have a big one, the next one, we need to get a win here."
  • Is there concern, "I think it's important that you have urgency, doesn't matter if it's game 4 or 74. We lost a few games here, it's important that we get the urgency and realize how important the next game is and the game after that see it as a big game every night. It's going to be a tight race and if you want to be in it you need to be ready now even though it's October. We have to go to work and make sure we play our best game in Columbus."
  • "I feel like my game is coming, feel better and better but we wanted a better start."
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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GEICO SportsNite: Rangers' start 00:01:35
Justine Ward reports live from MSG with reactions from several players after the Rangers' 3-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.

First period:

  • 0:15 STL Carl Gunnarsson; Assists: Jaden Schwartz
  • 2:23 NYR Mika Zibanejad (Power Play); Assists: Pavel Buchnevich, Kevin Shattenkirk
  • 13:30 STL Brayden Schenn (Power Play); Assists: Paul Stastny

Second period:

  • N/A

Third period:

  • 18:13 STL Jaden Schwartz (ENG) Assists: Vladimir Sobotka, Alex Pietrangelo
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Sep 25, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Anthony DeAngelo (77) carries the puck during the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Sep 25, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Anthony DeAngelo (77) carries the puck during the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

The New York Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist will look to build off their first win of the season when they continue a heavy stretch of home games with a Tuesday contest against the St. Louis Blues at Madison Square Garden.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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Mar 24, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) and right wing Adam Cracknell (27) celebrate the win over the San Jose Sharks at the American Airlines Center. Cracknell scores his first career NHL hat trick. The Stars defeat the Sharks 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Mar 24, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) and right wing Adam Cracknell (27) celebrate the win over the San Jose Sharks at the American Airlines Center. Cracknell scores his first career NHL hat trick. The Stars defeat the Sharks 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

Alain Vigneault said that the Rangers decided to pick up Adam Cracknell on waivers because he is fourth line player that can play both the wing and center and also help out on the PK.

Vigneault said that both the Rangers pro scouts and assistant coach Lindy Ruff, who coached Cracknell in Dallas last season, thought that he could add depth to the roster.

He said that Ruff said 'a lot of great things" about Cracknell and "we will give him an opportunity to show what he can do."

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Sep 20, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) celebrates his game winning overtime goal against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Sep 20, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) celebrates his game winning overtime goal against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

2:25PM: Jeff Gorton said that he spoke with Chytil about the decision to go to Hartford and that the organization wants to see more from him before they potentially send him back to the Czech Republic to play. (NY Post)

Gorton said that there is no timetable for Chytil and that they want to give him "a chance." He added that the Rangers have a certain level of control in regards to keeping Chytil in Hartford and that they can decide on his minutes, linemates, etc. (NY Post)

Chytil told Gorton that he was nervous on the ice and that the pace and competition was much different than it was in the preseason. (NY Post)

Tags: Filip Chytil
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Mar 28, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault watches the game against the San Jose Sharks in the third period at SAP Center at San Jose. The Sharks won 5-4 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)
Mar 28, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault watches the game against the San Jose Sharks in the third period at SAP Center at San Jose. The Sharks won 5-4 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)

Alain Vigneault met with the media on Tuesday following the Rangers morning skate and said (NYR):

  • On Chytil, "He hadn't played much with the last couple of games, didn't play the last game. In talking with Jeff yesterday we felt that he needed to play. It's a day to day situation. The best thing for him is to play a couple of games in Hartford on the weekend so he is going to out and play some hockey."
  • More on Chytil, "we haven't quite made up our mind on him and the makeup of our team. We feel that right now he needs to play, play in Hartford and we need to sort out some things also."
  • On Cracknell, "when he became available the day before yesterday, talked to our pro scouts and Lindy and both felt that he is a fourth line player, right handed shot, can play RW, the middle, can help on the PK. Just gave us some more depth and we figured that it would be a good pick up. Lindy said a lot of great things about the young man so we will give him an opportunity to show what he can do."
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Sep 20, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith (42) against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Sep 20, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith (42) against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

11:21AM: Alain Vigneault said that Brendan Smith and Tony DeAngelo are being scratched tonight and that Steven Kampfer and Nick Holden will remain in the lineup.

Smith was scratched on Sunday in the Rangers win over Montreal and DeAngelo only played minimal minutes.

Holden played 17:14 on Sunday with 1 hit and 2 giveaway and, by period, played: 

  • First Period: 7:02
  • Second Period: 5:18
  • Third Period: 4:54

Kampfer played 17:08 on Sunday and had 1 shot on goal, 1 shot that missed the net, 1 hit, 1 giveaway, 2 blocked shots and, by period, played:

  • First Period: 7:02
  • Second Period: 5:12
  • Third Period: 4:54
Tags: Anthony DeAngelo, Brendan Smith, Nick Holden, Steven Kampfer
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

1:30PM: On Holden and Kampfer staying in the lineup, Vigneault said "they competed, played hard. They weren't perfect, a couple of decisions there but they competed real hard, waited for an opportunity, got themselves ready and they played well so I'm keeping the same lineup. What Smytty and Anthony need to do is get ready and when they get their next opportunity they need to force me to keep him in the lineup by their play."

10:52AM: At the Rangers morning skate on Tuesday, newly picked up forward Adam Cracknell is skating on the fourth line with David Desharnais and Paul Carey. (Zipay)

The defense pairs being used today include (Zipay):

  • Marc Staal & Ryan McDonagh
  • Brady Skjei & Kevin Shattenkirk
  • Brendan Smith & Tony Deangelo
  • Nick Holden & Steven Kampfer
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New York Islanders right wing Josh Ho-Sang controls the puck against New York Rangers left wing Andrew Desjardins during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders right wing Josh Ho-Sang controls the puck against New York Rangers left wing Andrew Desjardins during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

10:43AM:The Rangers have announced that Andrew Desjardins has been released from his PTO.

He was suspended two games in the preseason for a hit to the head.

Alain Vigneault said before the Rangers went to Lake Placid, "as long as he wants to be around and we say that he can be around, he can be. For us it's sort of an insurance policy. If he gets a better offer we will let him go but at this time we seem to be his best option right now. In the middle there was some availability and we need to see how Filip will do, we said it will be day by day, Desharnais came in and played real well for us. We will see what happens moving forward but for now he is a good insurance policy for us."

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Oct 7, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers left wing J.T. Miller (10) celebrates his goal in the first period against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)
Oct 7, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers left wing J.T. Miller (10) celebrates his goal in the first period against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)

10/12/17 | 11:10AM: Miller said that he thinks his move to center has gone well so far and that he feels comfortable in the role. (NY Post)

10/10/17 | In the middle of Saturday's game against the Leafs, JT Miller was moved to center, the position he was expected to start the season at.

  • On Saturday, Miller played 16:39 overall, had a goal and an assist, and was 7 and 8 on faceoffs.
  • On Sunday, Miller played 16:17, had an assist and was 10 and 3 on faceoffs. He also had 1 hit, 3 giveaways and 1 takeaway.

Miller said that he felt good at center on Sunday and felt like he was developing some chemistry with Rick Nash and Michael Grabner. (MSG)

Tags: J.T. Miller
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Feb 25, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) celebrates his game winning goal in overtime at Prudential Center. The Rangers defeated the Devils 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Feb 25, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) celebrates his game winning goal in overtime at Prudential Center. The Rangers defeated the Devils 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Through three games, Mika Zibanejad has 4 goals (3 on the PP), a minus two rating, 15 shots on goal, 22 shot attempts and a 55.75 faceoff win percentage.

After scoring twice on opening night, Zibanejad said that he was doing his best to find open space and just shoot the puck. (MSG)

He said last night that the puck is going in for him and "I just am trying to place myself in a good spot out there and the guys are finding me and the puck seems to be going in. That's just the mentality. You just have to keep shooting when you are hot, I guess." (NYR Game Notes)

Alain Vigneault said on Sunday that the Rangers put a lot of faith in Zibanejad with his new contract and that he is expected to be "an impact player on our team. The way he started is the way he has to continue. He has to be a force on the ice and a difference maker and that is what we expect from him."

Tags: Mika Zibanejad
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