It was an inauspicious start Thursday night against the Avalanche for an understandably nervous 18-year-old Filip Chytil — the youngest Rangers forward or defenseman to play in a game since 1999.
The teenaged Czech center, who was selected 21st overall in the draft and made the cut after an impressive camp, was unselfish on one rush early — trying to force a pass through the middle that was knocked away instead of shooting.
Chytil was on the ice for Matt Duchene’s opening goal. He then was whistled for a questionable tripping penalty that led to Mikka Rantanen’s power-play goal that made it 2-0 Colorado midway through the first period.
With his ice-time reduced by a lot of special teams play and then by the need to score the tying goal in the third period, Chytil was limited to 7:40, 11 shifts and was 1 for 5 on faceoffs. He was a minus 1 for the night.
Blueshirts on hit parade
Without Tanner Glass, who signed as a free agent with Calgary, one pre-season question was who would bring the lumber on a team steeped in finesse and speed.
In the first period, the answer was a collective effort, as the Blueshirts were credited with 15 hits, including an early open-ice flattening of Gabriel Landeskog that brought a cheer from the crowd, and four hits by Marc Staal. Rick Nash also got into with Landeskog twice in the second, and at 7:58 the Rangers got a power play out of their scrapping after J.T. Compher’s slash. The Rangers finished with 23 hits.
The Rangers’ healthy scratches were defensemen Nick Holden and Steve Kampfer. Jesper Fast remains out, but might make the trip to Toronto for Saturday’s game.