The Bear Cave

September 20, 2009 10:33 AM

Rangers Spoil Preseason Home Opener

A perfect preseason would have certainly given the fans some excitement heading into the 2009-10 regular campaign. However, with today's preseason schedule featuring eight games, that can be quite the tall task to accomplish. The Boston Bruins entered Saturday afternoon's game with a 2-0 record, hoping to extend their winning streak to three with Tim Thomas tending the net. Unfortunately, the New York Rangers had other ideas, scoring three times in the first period, en route to a 5-2 victory, spoiling Boston's first home game of the preseason.

Fans at the TD Garden were brought to their feet early, as Drew Fata made his presence felt in his preseason debut, dropping the gloves with Aaron Voros. The fight took place just 2:16 into the contest. Unfortunately, the excitement didn't last for much longer, as a Jeff LoVecchio minor penalty for interference gave the Rangers their first power play. The visitors only needed 24 seconds of power play time to capitalize, with Michael Del Zotto feeding Ales Kotalik for a one-timer that beat Tim Thomas. Vinny Prospal was awarded with the second assist later in the game.

A little more than three minutes later, New York doubled the lead with a tally from a rather unpopular player. Derek Morris' inability to hold the puck in at the Bruins' offensive blueline led to a 3-on-1 break in the other direction. Sean Avery was the leader of the break, keeping the puck to himself, and sneaking one through Thomas.

Exactly nine minutes into the tilt, the Bruins got onto the scoreboard. Milan Lucic received a pass from Drew Fata, and ultimately turned it into a lead feed for Marc Savard on the left side of the offensive zone. Savard attempted a centering pass, but the Rangers' defense blocked it away. However, luck was on Savard's side, as the puck went right back to the Boston forward. With a second life on his stick, Savard banked a shot off of Stephen Valiquette and in for the first home goal of the preseason.

With approximately five minutes remaining in the opening period, Boston was given an opportunity to even things up, as Aaron Voros picked up a penalty for interfering with the Boston goaltender. However, the Rangers turned the tables on the home team, as Artem Anisimov put on a dazzling display of moves, before ultimately finding the back of the net for what was already New York's third tally of the afternoon. Pierre Parenteau and Alexei Semenov assisted on the goal that gave the Rangers a 3-1 lead after one period of play.

The middle portions of periods proved to be a good time for the Bruins on Saturday, as they climbed within a goal at the 8:47 mark of the middle frame. Marco Sturm got the play started, snapping a pass up the ice for Max Sauve. Sauve turned on the jets as he entered the offensive zone, gaining space as he skated along. That extra space opened up a passing lane, allowing Sauve to find Zach Hamill going hard to the net. Hamill put the puck on his backhand, before beating Valiquette for his second goal of the preseason. Both of Hamill's goals have come at the expense of Valiquette and the Rangers.

Valiquette's afternoon ended shortly after the goal, as New York opted to split the time between the pipes. Chad Johnson entered the crease at the 9:14 mark of the second, and immediately got a front row seat for a fight between Steve Begin and Dane Byers. The fight was Begin's second in two games, as he continues to earn respect from his teammates.

Dane Byers was also whistled for holding on the play with the fight, giving Boston an opportunity with the man advantage. To make matters worse for New York, Alexei Semenov found himself in the penalty box for interference about a minute later. This was a big turning point in the game, as the Rangers killed off both penalties, hanging on to their one-goal lead. Just over a minute later, that lead was doubled. Ales Kotalik's wrist shot from the point deflected off of Vinny Prospal and Enver Lisin, with Lisin getting credit for the marker.

Two minutes later, the Bruins lost one of their top players, as Milan Lucic was given the gate after spearing Michael Del Zotto. Lucic received a major penalty and a game misconduct.

With a little more than three minutes remaining in the game, the Rangers added one final insurance goal to their win. Pierre Parenteau was the scorer, with assists going to Dane Byers and Artem Anisimov for a 5-2 final.

Stephen Valiquette evened his preseason record at 1-1, with 12 saves on 14 shots in 29:14 of action. Chad Johnson was perfect in relief, stopping all 12 shots he faced for New York. Tim Thomas had a rough start to his preseason for the Bruins, allowing five goals on just 19 shots.

The Boston Bruins will look to recover from this defeat on Sunday, when they visit the Montreal Canadiens in Quebec City, QC. Face-off for that game is scheduled for 7:00 at Colisee Pepsi.

Scoring Summary:
1. NYR Kotalik (1) (Del Zotto, Prospal) (PP) 4:30
1. NYR Avery (1) (Unassisted) 7:44
1. BOS Savard (1) (Lucic, Fata) 9:00
1. NYR Anisimov (2) (Parenteau, Semenov) (SH) 15:52
2. BOS Hamill (2) (Sauve, Sturm) 8:47
2. NYR Lisin (2) (Prospal, Kotalik) 14:04
3. NYR Parenteau (1) (Byers, Anisimov) 16:58

Penalty Summary:
1. NYR Voros- Fighting 2:16
1. BOS Fata- Fighting 2:16
1. BOS LoVecchio- Interference 4:06
1. NYR Voros- Goaltender Interference 14:43
2. BOS Savard- Hooking 0:36
2. NYR Prospal- Holding 3:02
2. NYR Byers- Holding 9:52
2. NYR Byers- Fighting 9:52
2. BOS Begin- Fighting 9:52
2. NYR Semenov- Interference 10:54
2. BOS Lucic- Spearing (Major) 16:06
2. BOS Lucic- Game Misconduct 16:06
2. NYR Prospal- Boarding 16:49
2. NYR Semenov- Interference 19:06
3. BOS Ryder- High Sticking 7:29
3. NYR Gilroy- Tripping 19:59
3. BOS Savard- Slashing 19:59

NYR Stephen Valiquette (1-1-0): 14 shots, 12 saves
NYR Chad Johnson (entered at 9:14 2nd): 12 shots, 12 saves
BOS Tim Thomas (0-1-0): 19 shots, 14 saves

Shots on Goal:
NYR 10-6-3=19
BOS 9-10-7=26

Power Plays:
NYR 1-for-5
BOS 0-for-4

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