GREENBURGH, N.Y. - The training camp undercard is over. It's Rangers vs. Devils in the first preseason game at Madison Square Garden since 2010 on Monday.
"The second part of our evaluation starts [Monday] . . . Tomorrow we face an opponent that's really wanting to hit," coach Alain Vigneault said Sunday after a scrimmage. "Since we're playing against our own teammates, the pace and intensity is not going to be the same . . . The guys that play more of a physical, grinding type of game will get noticed [Monday]."
The White team, which beat the Blue squad, 6-4, in the 90-minute, running-time scrimmage, will dress against the Devils. The B team, with maybe some tweaks, will face the Blackhawks in Chicago on Friday.
If Derek Stepan (bruised foot) doesn't dress, it appears that Monday's lineup will be:
Chris Kreider-Kevin Hayes-Danny Kristo
Ryan Malone-Matthew Lombardi-Martin St. Louis
Carl Hagelin-J.T. Miller-Ryan Bourque
Tanner Glass-Chris Mueller-Jesper Fast
Marc Staal-Dan Boyle
John Moore-Michael Kostka
Steven Kampfer-Matt Hunwick
Henrik Lundqvist is expected to start in goal. Miller, Lombardi, Glass, Mueller and Boyle were five of the scorers in the scrimmage. Derick Brassard, Marek Hrivik and Dominic Moore also hit the back of the net.
The new Staal-Boyle pairing moved the puck well . . . Observers thought Miller and Ryan Haggerty "stood out" and so did Vigneault, who singled them out afterward along with Marek Hrivik and Anthony Duclair . . . Vigneault on Mueller: "It's what the scouts told me, smart player, skilled. He understands the game and the offensive side. I haven't had any issues with what I've seen so far." . . . Hrivik, who was jumped by John Moore in the corner and awarded a penalty shot (which he converted), is "a young player that's been held back because of injuries the last couple of years," Vigneault said. "He's come here this year and he seems to be very healthy. His conditioning is good. He's got size. I'm interested to see what he's going to do. At some point in a young player's career, they've got to get on the bus here." . . . For the opening-night roster, Vigneault said the seventh defenseman will be "a guy who can help us in the transition game" and that it doesn't matter if he is a lefthanded or righthanded shot.