A baker’s dozen of what you need to know from the Rangers' 4-3 win here in Newark:
1. Brad Richards scored his first goal as a Blueshirt to tie the score at one at 4:22. He went around David Steckel, down past the left circle, and his attempted cross-goalmouth pass to Wolski at the far post deflected past Brodeur off Adam Larsson’s skate. Also victimized by a giveaway.
2. The three Devils goals were high glove side on Martin Biron, one a rocket on a 5 on 3 from Kovalchuk. No chance on that one. But Rust for Biron? Yes. First game in about seven months. A win for Chad Johnson, who stopped all 10 shots in the third.
3. “I liked it,” Tortorella said of the five-forward power play. “They had the puck…That may not be all of personnel…” My guess. Dubinsky, who practiced it today, goes in for Boyle. Said Marian Gaborik: “With Cally in front, it makes it tough on the goalie.” The stat: 1 for 6.
4. My three stars: 1. Ilya Kovalchuk. Best player on the ice. 2. Brendan Bell. The game-winner and an assist on first goal. Gaborik. Goal, assist, looks ready for a bounce-back season.
5. Gaborik on Richards (goal and assist each): “We created some chances…I tried to make it more give-and-go. You just get it (the puck) to him and try to get lost.” Richards on Gabby: “Never played with a guy like him. Thought we had some good zone time, we want to just bury it.”
6. Torts on Mike Rupp’s debut: "Not a bad game forechecking, tried him killing penalties. The fight (with Eric Boulton in the third period) was part of his responsibility. Stood in pretty well."
7. Agree with Torts, who described it as “an up-and-down game” Erixon, Bell, he said, “aren’t used to the way we play. I thought we had some good shifts and some struggles with our back end.” Me, I though Valentenko and Sauer struggled. Erixon: “He’s a kid. He gets caught from behind one time. He loses his net one time. That’s a tough position. He had some really good shifts, too, as far as his patience with the puck.”
8. Ryan McDonagh led all NYR D in ice time at 23:36; Adam Larsson for the Devs had 24: 51.
9. Cuts of about 20 players expected about 1 p.m. tomorrow.
10. With the 4-3 win, it’s 1-1 in the pre-season for the Rangers-Devils rivalry. Rangers have off tomorrow, back on ice Sunday.
11. Assorted thoughts/stats: Kris Newbury’s two penalties didn’t help his cause. Dale Weise played a team low 7:11. Carl Hagelin, no shots in 13:09. Devils were 2-for-6 on the PP…Shots were 31-26, NYR
12. A potential tying goal at 17:18 of the third was waved off when Nick Palmieri, battling with Sauer, knocked down Johnson, and was whistled for goaltender interference. Right call.
13. I was really OK with the Brendan Byrne Arena. Liked press box view, highway access.