Devil’s Rookies Larsson and Henrique Impressive but Bell’s Late Goal Pushes Rangers Past Devils 4-3
October 25, 2011 Leave a comment
NEWARK, N.J. – The Rangers put the Devils hopes for a win on ice as Defenseman Brendan Bell snapped a tie with 3:04 left in the 3rd, and the New York Rangers earned a 4-3 win on Friday night over the New Jersey Devils in front of 14,719.
Two Devil’s rookies who are fighting for a roster spot made great impressions with veteran, Ilya Kovalchuk.
“It makes me very excited with all those guys and the way they play,” Kovalchuk said. “It will be a very interesting season. You’ve got Teddy (Mattias Tedenby), J.J. (Jacob Josefson), Henrique, Larsson, (Mark) Fayne, (Matt) Taormina. It’s a very bright future.”
Henrique, who is only 21, played his first preseason game and showed his scoring ability during a first period power play.
Kovalchuk somehow found Henrique, who beat goalie Martin Biron with a nasty back-hander.
“Kovy drove through. He took two guys and the puck bounced out for me,” Henrique said. “I noticed Biron’s glove hand was a little down and it was open. I went to my back-hand.”
Henrique looked like a crafty veteran out there during just his first game in Newark.
“I felt calm. It might’ve looked a bit smoother than it was in my head,” Henrique said. “You don’t always get opportunities to play in these games,” he said. “You have to take advantage of it.”
Not only did Henrique impress Kovalchuk but he also impressed Head Coach Pete Deboer also making his Newark debut.
“I thought he was good. Great goal,” DeBoer said. “The road to a roster spot here is still long with a lot of games left, but he made a good impression tonight.”
Henrique seemed to be in agreement with his coach’s comments regarding him making the team.
“I feel I had a pretty good game,” he said. “I felt more comfortable as the game went on. I was trying to focus on the little things and play our game.” ”
While Henrique may have had a good game, Defensemen Adam Larrson may have had a better one finishing with 2 assists including one to Kolvalchuk who praised the rookie.
“He plays with a lot of confidence,” Kovalchuk said of Larsson. “Not a lot of 18-year-old guys have that confidence on the ice, and patience with the puck. The way he managed the game, that’s very impressive.”
While Kolvalchuk praised the kid he knows that it’s still too early to name him the next big thing.
“It’s only two games. Let’s wait until the regular season. Don’t give him too much love.”
Larrson, who finished the game with two assists, also had his first mistake as a NHL player when Brad Richards scored the Rangers’ first goal by skating around David Steckel and then banking the puck off Larsson’s skate.
Larsson said: “It hit my skate. Can’t blame Marty. It was all my fault.”
Goalie Martin Brodeur who has been around the block a few times told Larsson that it was a mistake and it’s ok.
“I told him not to worry about it,” Brodeur said. “No big deal. It’s going to happen a few more times in his career that he’s going to kick a puck in.
Brodeur continued, “It’s unfortunate but that’s the relationship between the D and the goalie.”
Deboer was impressed by how Larrson reacted to the mistake.
“It didn’t seem to rattle him,” DeBoer said. “He’s pretty calm and poised. I think that’s one of his special qualities. Something like that happens to a young defenseman, you never know how they’re going to react, but I think he did some really good things tonight, especially on the power play.”
Larsson seemed to be in his element out there against NHL players but admitted he’s not used to NHL life.
“I feel pretty comfortable but I stress sometimes, I’m not used to this.”
He hides it well.
NYR: B. Richards (04:22 – 1st) , D. Stepan (05:43 – 1st) , M. Gaborik (PPG, 01:32 – 2nd) , B. Bell (16:56 – 3rd)
NJD: A. Henrique (PPG, 01:32 – 1st) , J. Josefson (07:26 – 2nd) , I. Kovalchuk (PPG, 16:45 – 2nd)