Speedy Paul Carey impressing Rangers coach Alain Vigneault
PHILADELPHIA — Paul Carey, the slightly older dark horse in a field of youngsters racing for a fourth-line spot with the Rangers, is climbing up the depth chart.
Carey, a Boston native who turned 29 Sunday and played in his fourth game here Tuesday, drew accolades from coach Alain Vigneault before the game at Wells Fargo Center, the preseason final for the Blueshirts.
“In the last four or five days, he’s caught my attention in games by his speed and the quickness that he showed to get to checks and get away from checks,” Vigneault said. “He’s right there in the mix. Real good skater, real good speed, And I real ly like his practice habits.”
And that was before Carey opened the scoring in a 4-3 overtime loss that gave the Rangers a 3-2-1 preseason record. Carey took a quick, cross-crease pass from Jimmy Vesey and quickly beat Brian Elliott at 9:09 of the first for a 1-0 lead. Last season, Carey scored 24 goals and had 55 points in 55 games with the Hershey Bears, the Washington Capitals’ affiliate.
Carey, who played with Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes at Boston College, didn’t register a point in his first three preseason games, averaging about 10 minutes on ice, putting some shots on goal and delivering a couple of hits in each game. In 32 NHL games with the Capitals and Avalanche, he posted a goal and an assist.
With general manager Jeff Gorton keeping an eye on the salary cap, Carey also would be an inexpensive addition, with a one-year, $650,000 contract.
Notes & quotes: It appears that defenseman Tony DeAngelo, 21, who came from Arizona in the Derek Stepan trade, will stick around a while. “I’ve really liked what I’ve seen,” Vig neault said. “Really good skating ability with the puck, head up high, can find the easy, early out. He’s had poise and patience, and so far in camp, he’s shown a real good skill set and he’s defended well. I’m very happy so far.” . . . Center Lias Andersson, scheduled to play Tuesday, was scratched with a bruised foot from blocking a shot Monday. The 18-year-old “was limping after Monday’s game and he didn’t skate [Tuesday)],” Vigneault said . . . Wednesday’s cuts will trim the camp roster to 25 or 26 players, which includes the rehabbing Jesper Fast, Vigneault said . . . Goalie Ondrej Pavelec was struck in the throat/neck by Shayne Gostisbehere’s shot in the second but stayed in the game . . . There was no decision on whether Andrew Desjardins (suspended for two games for an illegal hit to the head of Devils forward Miles Wood) would be released from his tryout.