The Rangers opened up their season with a disappointing 3-2 OT loss to the Los Angeles Kings. Jack Johnson converted on an overtime power play, to cap a Kings rally from 2-1 down in the third period, in a game the Rangers must have figured they could win after a brutal first period.
That's not to say all was sweetness and light for New York. Aside from a one sided first twenty minutes that saw just two Rangers - Ryan Callahan and Henrik Lundqvist - ready for action, the Rangers had a raft of players who didn't provide much in the way of contributions.
The top line was invisible until the second half of the game. Dubinsky - who had just been inserted onto the top line - was tentative with the puck and his body, while Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik seemed to be playing down a gear. The trio did combine for some decent shifts in the third period, with Gaborik ultimately converting on a play setup by Richards along the back boards and then a poke-pass by Dubinsky to find a wide open Gaborik in front.
It was good to see Gaborik get on the board quickly, and you have to hope as a Ranger fan that there's plenty more of that to come yet.
The second line of Ruslan Fedotenko, Artem Anisimov and Ryan Callahan was the pick of the Rangers forwards though. Callahan scored a bad angle goal in the first period to keep the Rangers in it a 1-1 despite being badly outplayed. He ended the night with 11 shots on goal, and except for a pass that lead to the Kings first goal, was clearly the leader the team has been searching for since Mark Messier left for Vancouver.
Anisimov too got going as the game went on, and he's starting to show that he has the strength to outmuscle his opponents in traffic, which bodes well for the season ahead. Fedotenko as always was quiet and steady as the third forward.
A third line of Wojtek Wolski, Derek Stepan and Mats Zuccarello struggled to contribute much offensively, and didn't even register a shot on goal between the three of them. The fourth line of Brian Boyle centering Mike Rupp and Brandon Prust also saw little time in the offensive zone, though Prust did manage to get his first fight on the board, a 50/50 duel with Kyle Clifford.
On defense, Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi looked pretty good together, and McDonagh seems to have put behind a so-so preseason to really show the form he had last year. Unfortunately it was McDonagh's offensive zone penalty in overtime that gave the Kings the opportunity to score the gamewinner, and it's probably a play McDonagh - who was only penalized 8 times all of last season - will likely to have over again.
Mike Sauer looked a little underdone, perhaps as a result of missing much of the preseason, while Del Zotto was relatively steady, but got beaten by Mike Richards on the Kings' second goal.
The third line pair of Steve Eminger and Tim Erixon saw relatively little time, with neither looking particularly comfortable on the ice.
In net, Henrik Lundqvist outplayed his opposite, but needed to come up with a spectacular save on any of the three goals to keep his team in it.
Dubinsky - Richards - Gaborik
Fedotenko - Anisimov - Callahan
Wolski - Stepan - Zuccarello
Rupp - Boyle - Prust
McDonagh - Girardi
Del Zotto - Sauer
Erixon - Eminger
Zuccarello was fined $2500 for a boarding call he too in the opening minutes of the game.
Brandon Dubinsky was assessed a 10 minute misconduct for breaking his stick and arguing the McDonagh call after the game winner was scored.
Claimed off waivers on Thursday, Jeff Woywitka made it to Stockholm around 2:30pm in time to catch the game, but not practice.
Henrik Lundqvist made his season debut and picked up his first loss
Tim Erixon made his NHL debut and picked up his first penalty minutes
Mike Sauer made his season debut
Dan Girardi made his season debut
Michael Del Zotto made his season debut
Steve Eminger made his season debut and picked up his first penalty minutes of the season
Ryan McDonagh made his season debut and picked up his first penalty minutes of the season
Brad Richards made his Rangers debut and picked up his first point as a Ranger
Marian Gaborik made his season debut and picked up his first goal of the season
Brandon Dubinsky made his season debut and picked up his first point and penalty minutes
Ryan Callahan made his debut as Rangers captain and picked up his first goal of the season and set a career high with 11 shots on goal
Brandon Prust made his season debut and picked up his first fight
Ruslan Fedotenko made his season debut and picked up his first point
Artem Anisimov made his season debut and picked up his first point Derek Stepan made his season debut
Wojtek Wolski made his season debut
Mats Zuccarello made his season debut and picked up his first penalty minutes
Brian Boyle made his season debut
Mike Rupp made his Rangers debut
Brendan Bell - healthy
Erik Christensen - healthy
Scott Stajcer - healthy
Jeff Woywitka - healthy