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David Quinn unhappy with Rangers' defensive effort in loss to Capitals

Rangers head coach David Quinn calls out to

Rangers head coach David Quinn calls out to his team during an NHL preseason hockey game against the New York Rangers, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, in Bridgeport, Conn.  Credit: AP/Jessica Hill

WASHINGTON — David Quinn was not happy with his team’s defensive effort in the 5-2 loss to the Washington Capitals Friday and he wasn’t shy about saying that in his postgame media briefing.

“Guys just going on a man-to-man mode, chasing people around, we just weren't mentally sharp at all,’’ Quinn said. “We lost our way, you know, and no matter what structure we're supposed to be in, we just — it was a lot of purposeless hockey tonight.’’

Quinn apparently was most frustrated at defenseman Tony DeAngelo, who played just two shifts in second period and never got off the bench in the third. The coach wasn’t willing, though, to elaborate on what made him single out DeAngelo that way.

“Listen, we just  as a team, we just didn't defend well and, it was just something that we felt we were going to do, that's all,’’ Quinn said. “Coach's decision.’’

DeAngelo, who partnered with rookie Libor Hajek as Quinn shuffled his defense pairs, played just 8:09 and was a minus-2.

In addition to making changes on all four lines, Quinn switched up his defense pairs, too, breaking up the partnership of DeAngelo and Marc Staal and putting Staal together with Jacob Trouba to form a No. 1 pair that played against the Capitals’ top line of Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie.

That meant Hajek, who had been playing with Trouba, partnered instead with DeAngelo on a third pair. The pair of Brady Skjei and Adam Fox remained together and were slotted as the second pair.

Lemieux returns to lineup

Brendan Lemieux, who was scratched Thursday in New Jersey against the Devils, returned to the lineup, slotting back in on the third line, on the left of Ryan Strome and Jesper Fast. Brendan Smith dropped back down to right wing on the fourth line, with Micheal Haley staying in as the fourth line left wing. Greg McKegg was scratched.

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