First things first: According to coach David Quinn, the Rangers will be sticking with the same lineup Tuesday against the Devils that they used in Saturday’s 5-0 romp over the Islanders.
That means the same starting goaltender, Alexandar Georgiev, who made 23 saves to post his fifth career shutout, and the same six defensemen, which leaves Tony DeAngelo in street clothes for the second straight game.
That doesn’t mean Quinn still is angry at DeAngelo for his unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty in Thursday’s season opener, the coach said.
"The discipline piece is done and over with,’’ he said Monday after the Rangers returned to practice following Sunday’s day off. "You win 5-0 and play the way we did, we want to build off of that.’’
One element he definitely wants to build on is the performance of defenseman Jacob Trouba, who Quinn said played "one of his best games as a Ranger’’ on Saturday. He was pleased with what Trouba did on the ice and even happier, it seemed, with the kind of leadership Trouba showed after Thursday’s embarrassing 4-0 loss.
Trouba downplayed that part of his performance, though.
"Nothing crazy,’’ he said when asked what he said to his teammates between Thursday and Saturday. "I don’t think we wanted to overreact to the first game. It was one game, just as this last game [Saturday] was one game. We’re not going to get crazy high over that, either. I think a lot of guys stepped up and played pretty good games.’’
Quinn, however, insisted that Trouba’s leadership was a big deal.
"We’ve talked about that as an organization, as a group, that we need that from a lot of guys, especially guys like him, in that age bracket, that have been in the league a while but are still young,’’ Quinn said. "Off and on the ice, he did everything we needed him to do, and he was instrumental in us making such a dramatic switch in our play from Thursday to Saturday.’’
Trouba has acknowledged that he struggled last season after being acquired from Winnipeg in a trade and signing a seven-year, $56 million contract to be the team’s No. 1 defenseman.
He’s attributed those struggles, in part, to taking a long time to get comfortable in his new surroundings. After all, New York is a lot different from Winnipeg. But he looks comfortable now, even though he’s had three different partners (DeAngelo, K’Andre Miller and Ryan Lindgren) in the two weeks since training camp started.
"Each one’s a little different, obviously,’’ Trouba said. "Everybody has their own strengths. But it doesn’t really matter a whole lot who you’re playing with. You’ve still got to play your game and your partner will play their game. And communication and that stuff maybe comes in a little bit more when you’re not as comfortable with tendencies.’’
Notes & quotes: DeAngelo, who skated with the taxi squad Friday, was back with the main group Monday . . . Forward Kevin Rooney, who left Thursday’s game after his collision with the Islanders’ Ross Johnston, did not skate . . . Quinn, who played Pavel Buchnevich on the first power-play unit in the third period Saturday, said he might move him to the unit full- time. "That’s something that certainly would be on the table,’’ he said.