Rangers Fall To Islanders In Final Preseason Tune Up

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The Rangers suited up for their final preseason matchup last night against the New York Islanders at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT. Goals by Vladislav Namestnikov and Tony DeAngelo were not enough, as the Rangers fell to the Islanders 4-2. The loss and score was not the main focus of the game tonight, here’s our recap.

The usual top line of players was not dressed tonight, as the Rangers threw out their B+ team on the ice to gauge who should make the final roster before the opener on Thursday. Vladislav Namestnikov, Lias Andersson and Jesper Fast were fantastic for the Rangers, as all three players were engaged in the play, physical when they needed to and were active in the offensive zone. Namestnikov’s goal was a result of the hard work that line displayed all evening. In Andersson’s case, he seems to have improved on his overall game since the previous season and a half, and his work ethic is shining through this pre-season.

Adam Fox, Joe Morrow, and Tony DeAngelo were all solid on the back end. DeAngelo looks like he hasn’t missed a beat as he’s skated well and looked sharp on the puck. This was evident when the Rangers scored their second goal. The whole unit on the ice was strong and kept the puck in for a nice cycle before DeAngelo netted the second goal with a tremendous shot through traffic.

Adam Fox continued his strong showing as he continues to be one of the better skaters and puck handlers on the ice. Joe Morrow also moved the puck well and has made a strong case for the seventh defenseman spot on the main roster.

Brendan Lemieux continued to be a physical force on the ice as he threw his body against the Islanders. Lemieux, who signed his contract right before camp, has looked tremendous out there and already seems to be in midseason form. He skates with speed and plugs hard in the corners along with being a general agitator. This style of play has been displayed throughout the preseason and was evident last night as well.

Speaking of toughness, Michael Haley also got into a scrap with Ross Johnston. Haley is looking to secure a bottom-six role with the big club. Even though it seems unlikely he will get it, he’s played well enough in camp that management would more than likely see him as an option for the Wolf Pack.

Alexandar Georgiev looked solid making 22 saves on 25 shots, as he was slated to play the whole match in net. Looking at other performances, Gregg McKegg, Libor Hajek and Ryan Lindgren were also standouts, as they had nice games and held their own offensively and defensively.

On the contrary, however, Boo Nieves, Vinni Lettieri and Filip Chytil did not perform up to par. Lettieri and Chytil posted a plus/minus rating of -1, while Nieves posted a -2. While Chytil will more than likely make the final roster, the same may not be said for Lettieri and Nieves, as both players were lackluster in their own ends during the game.

The preseason has concluded and now coach Quinn and the rest of the management crew will assess the final few spots and players available for the opening night roster come Thursday. Through the last few games, we’ve seen what the fruits of the rebuild could offer and the final judgement of the team will be a collection of these fruits, in hopes of putting together a solid hockey team.

Next Game: The Rangers begin their 2019-20 season on Thursday night when they host the Winnipeg Jets at The Garden. Puck drops at 7!


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