Preseason games are opportunities for prospects and on Friday night, Anthony Duclair and three other Rangers youngsters scored in a 4-1 defeat of the Blackhawks in Chicago. The win evened their exhibition record at 1-1.
Duclair, 19, a wing who scored 50 goals as a junior in Quebec last season, was playing his first game as a Blueshirt, and fit in seamlessly with a goal and assist.
The speedy Duclair raced to the far post to redirect Rick Nash's pass from the right circle midway through the first, generated other chances with Nash, and assisted on J.T. Miller's goal in the third.
Miller, 21, solidified his chance for a spot on the Rangers roster at center, winning 13 of 18 faceoffs and tipping John Moore's point shot on the power play past Corey Crawford at 13:58 in the third period for a 3-1 lead. Miller had two assists against New Jersey on Monday.
Two players who spent last season in Hartford also scored. Center Oscar Lindberg opened the scoring 51 seconds into the game at United Center with a quick shot from the slot and Marek Hrivik deflected the puck past Crawford at 16:38.
Henrik Lundqvist started and allowed the only Chicago goal, by Dennis Rasmussen at 9:27 of the second period, and was replaced by Cedrick Desjardins, who stopped 15 shots and blanked the Hawks the rest of the way.
In the first period, as the Rangers started with pressure in the Hawks' zone that continued for much of the first 20 minutes, Lindberg backed into the slot with Hrivik screening in front, fired and the shot went in off Crawford at 51 seconds. Lee Stempniak and Conor Allen had the assists.
Derick Brassard's long diagonal pass found Nash, playing right wing, crossing the blue line. Nash skated to the circle and flipped a backhanded saucer pass to the streaking Duclair, who converted for a 2-0 lead at 10:56.
The Hawks controlled play in the first half of the second period, outshooting the Rangers 9-1 and Rasmussen, camped in the crease after a turnover in center ice, knocked in a loose puck at 9:37 to trim the lead to 2-1. Crawford then stopped Nash, who had five shots, after a lead pass from Duclair.