New York Rangers top line of Barron, Cuylle, and Pajuniemi shine in 6-3 loss to Flyers rookies
The Rangers first line of Morgan Barron, Will Cuylle, and Lauri Pajuniemi were a delight to watch. They played with energy and speed which resulted in three goals, although one was disallowed.
On defense, the top pairing of Zac Jones and Braden Schneider was rock solid. They did benefit by playing mostly with the top line. There is no doubt in my mind that they would likely make a solid third pairing in the NHL this season.
As for Nils Lundkvist, he was paired with Matthew Robertson and looked okay. Nothing to be concerned about, but it would be excellent to see him get even strength time with the top line.
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New York Rangers fall to Philadelphia Flyers rookies 6-3
The Flyers rookies jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one period on the strength of two power play goals. Outside of the Blueshirts top line, they didn’t get much going and spent far too much time in their own zone.
In the second period it was Barron that got the Rangers rookies on the board first. That was followed by a Pajuniemi tip that was disallowed for offside. Patrick Khoderenko would get the second goal for the Rangers which was then followed by Pajuniemi’s game-tying snipe off a Cuylle feed.
Pajuniemi, 22, has his sights set on the NHL and the 5th round draft pick from 2018 explained his success in Finland before coming over to camp.
“Two years ago, when I was scoring like one goal in a game, I was really happy,” he explained. “But then the Rangers scout said to me that, ‘You need to have that confidence that you want more. Every night you score one goal, you need to get another,’ and I started to think like that and the goals were coming.”
The period ended with another Flyers PP goal which gave them the lead at 4-3 to close the second.
Philly would open the scoring in the third and Finnish it with an empty net goal for a 6-3 win.
In the end, there were just too many penalties by the Rangers rookies. The Flyers scored 3 PP goals in the contest which was too much to overcome.
This is something Kris Knoblauch who coached the game will try and correct before tomorrow’s rematch.
Correction: Updated to reflect fina; score of 6-3
Rangers notable rookies
Barron, 22, used all his 6-4, 220 frame to be a physical force and play a heavy game. Last season, he scored 21 points in 21 games for the Hartford Wolf Pack then added a his first NHL goal in 5 games with the Rangers. He was given an A on his sweater along with Cuylle and Schneider.
“My goal this year is to make it out of camp and stick the whole year round with the big club,” Barron said after day one of Development Camp. “With the new coaching staff the message has been clear this offseason, they want to be a team to be tougher to play against and those are things I feel I can add to this lineup.”
Schneider, 19, looked every bit the WHL Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy as Defenseman of the Year out there. His ability to skate with the puck and hard shot is what led to his 27 points in 22 games.
“I just want to show that I can play at the highest level,” Schneider said last week. “I want to show what I got and show that I can play with the big boys. Whatever happens I’m just looking to get better and progress my game everyday.”
His defense partner was excellent as well. Jones is going to make it hard on the Rangers in camp, you can just tell. He joined the Rangers late in the season and played in 10 games recording 4 assists.
“I’m coming in trying to make the team, I know it’s going to be difficult and I don’t have a spot,” Jones admitted. “If I get sent down to the AHL, it’s not going to be a big deal for me, I’m just going to work hard and get back to the NHL.”
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