Rapid Reaction: Devils 2, Rangers 1 (OT)

September, 21, 2011
9/21/11
9:32
PM ET
What it Means: Not much. Exhibition games are not usually an accurate barometer for the upcoming season -- the 2011 Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins won only three of eight preseason contests last year.

Although Dale Weise tied the game late in the third period, veteran Patrik Elias capitalized on a Rangers turnover to win the game for the Devils 45 seconds into overtime.

"It was sloppy," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "From where I was sitting, the ice looked terrible. [I saw] some good things, some struggles. It was a tough game to evaluate."

And not one the Rangers want to use to gauge what lies ahead.

"I don't think you can base where our team is at by this game," said Brandon Dubinsky. "There are so many new guys, so many fresh faces, so many guys that have never played in this environment, this level."

The Rangers now have six contests remaining -- two in North America, four in Europe -- before their regular-season opener against the Kings in Stockholm, Sweden, Oct. 7.

Weise guy: In addition to his game-tying goal, Weise also sparked the team with a center-ice scrap with Devils' Brad Mills at 2:51 in the third.

"I didn't like the way he was going after [Shane] McColgan -- he's 18 years old -- so I thought maybe I'd step up for him," Weise said.

The 23-year-old winger, who played 10 games with the Rangers last season, also helped set up the play on his third-period tally with a big hit on Devils rookie defenseman Adam Larsson.

"That's the type of game I play; I'm a hard-nosed guy," Weise said. "I go up and down my wing, bang bodies and that's the way I'm going to play for this team if I stick around."

One that got away: Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist stopped 17 of 18 shots in the first period and a half; he was replaced by Cam Talbot at 11:13 of the second period with the Rangers trailing 1-0.

"I felt pretty good," Lundqvist said. "It's always a little awkward in the beginning -- not awkward, but you're fighting it a little bit, just the timing--but it was fun. Every game is a big step in getting ready for the season because we've been out for so long."

Talbot had a stellar night, stopping 22 of 23 shots.

For old times: Former Devil (and Ranger) Petr Sykora, who is in training camp with New Jersey on a tryout, ripped a wrist shot past Lundqvist to score the game’s first goal at 11:34 of the first period. Sykora, who won a Stanley Cup with the Devils in 2000, also scored a hat trick in one of the Devils’ intrasquad scrimmages.

Torts report: Tortorella said the line of Sean Avery-John Mitchell-JT Miller was the team's most consistent throughout the game.

"I thought Sean, along with his two linemates, forechecked very well and created some offense. I don't know about a lot of scoring chances but they created some offensive zone time."

Iced Out: A few players said the ice conditions were far from ideal, making it hard to handle the puck. Said Tortorella: "It was like a basketball game out there the puck was bouncing so much."

Father knows best: NHL legend Ray Bourque, was on hand to watch son, Ryan, play in his first preseason game of the year for the Rangers. Sounds like the 20-year-old prospect has a pretty good person to lean on for advice.

First cut is the deepest: The Rangers will make their first round of cuts following the team’s next pre-season game against the Devils on Friday. Tortorella said he plans on being “between 30-32” players to Europe—six forward lines, five defensive pairs and three goaltenders.

What’s next: Rangers at Devils, Friday at 7 p.m.
Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPN.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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