Thursday, April 4, 2013
Newcomers lead the way
By Matt Ehalt
The Rangers aren't going to miss Marian Gaborik if their newest acquisitions continue to play like the did in their Rangers debuts Wednesday.
Just hours after the Rangers traded away Gaborik, their trio of newcomers led the way in a 6-1 rout of the Penguins at Madison Square Garden. New acquisitions Ryane Clowe, Derick Brassard and John Moore combined for four goals and eight points, with Brassard leading the way with a career-best four points.
It's the first time in team history that three players scored a goal while making their debut, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
John Moore and Derick Brassard had a combined five points in their Rangers debuts.
"That's crazy," Clowe said while donning the Broadway hat, awarded by the team to a top player after a win. "It was wild."
While Gaborik has great offensive potential, he struggled this season after his hot start, with just four goals the past two months. He scored five in the first month of the season before cooling off, and will join several former Rangers in Columbus.
In adding four players prior to the deadline, the Rangers beefed up their depth while adding ruggedness. The Rangers have been extremely thin on their bottom lines, especially up the middle, and needed more toughness after some of their grittier players left this offseason.
While Clowe made it to the morning skate, Brassard and Moore arrived right before pregame warmups. They got dressed quickly, introduced themselves to their teammates, shook hands with their new coach, and headed out to the ice for an important game against Pittsburgh.
"Sometimes you play your better games when you don't worry about anything," Brassard said. "The guys made us feel very comfortable when we got here and it was a great win."
Clowe, Brassard and Moore managed to play a role in every Rangers goal as the had a season-high six goals. Brassard had an assist on the first goal and Clowe the second. Clowe then followed up with his first goal of the year to make it 3-0 in the first. In 28 games with the Sharks, the veteran had been held without a tally, but he scored one less than 15 minutes into his Rangers tenure.
"Kind of get the monkey off coming here and get the monkey off overall," Clowe said.
Brassard tallied his first goal with the Rangers in the second, and Clowe added his second goal less than 10 minutes later to give the Rangers a 5-1 advantage. Moore, a defenseman, made it a perfect night for the newcomers when he scored his first goal of the season in the third period. The eight points tallied by the three players matched what Gaborik had produced in his last 18 games.
"It was a lot of fun obviously tonight," Rangers center Brad Richards. "Great for the organization with all of the new guys coming in and do what they did. It's exciting for everybody. They just got here about 10 minutes before warmups and went out and scored a goal and fit right in perfectly."