Preseason counts for nothing in terms of season success, but it is an important time for the prospects and fringe players to make an impression on the coaches, particularly when it's the first presseason for the new Rangers head coach David Quinn.
Lias Andersson did just that, scoring a short handed and a power play goal to help the Rangers - and I use the term loosely - opened their preseason up with a victory on the road. While 16 of the 20 Blueshirts who dressed have NHL experience, it's fair to say, a good number of these players won't be on the roster for opening night.
As for the rookie Andersson, he's competing for perhaps the 3rd or 4th center spot in a crowded roster for the center position and for the all important ice time. The 19 year old Swede looked poised on his shorthanded takeaway in particular, stripping the former #1 pick of the puck and accelerating away from the defense before beating Keith Kincaid high on the glove side with a deft flick.
The power play goal to tie it at 3-3 just over six minutes into the third demonstrated awareness when a shot hit Chris Kreider in front and dropped down for Andersson to slot it in on the stick side as he skated by.
Andersson's goal scoring aside, the game was a sloppy affair, with a combined fifteen penalties called, and neither side really passing of skating fluently. Of the players looking to secure spots, Fredrik Claesson and Neal Pionk - who scored the game winner in OT - played over 20 minutes of ice time, though Pionk was on for all three NJ goals, including two on the man advantage.
Free agent signee Michael Lindqvist spent almost racked up as much time in penalty minutes (4) as he did in ice time with just under seven minutes. Fellow european FA Vill Meskanen saw 13:20 and earned a minor of his own, as well as two shots on goal.
The Rangers did lose Cristoval Nieves late in the game when he took an unpenalized high hit from Eric Gryba. New York's next preseason game is Wednesday against the Flyers.