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Posted On Monday, 10.03.2011 / 3:59 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Zug scores two more, leads 7-4 in third

ZUG, Switzerland --Esa Pirnes scored his second goal of the night, this time on a partial breakaway, to give EV Zug a 6-4 lead just 2:40 into the third period.

Less than a minute and a half later, Damien Brunner, who leads the Swiss league in scoring, cashed in off a feed from Fabian Sutter to give Zug a three-goal lead for the first time in the game.

What made the Brunner goal worse was that Steve Eminger was all turned around and Michael Del Zotto was late coming back to help.

Rangers coach John Tortorella was seen talking to Del Zotto, his hands on the youngster's shoulders, shortly after Brunner and EV Zug were finished celebrating.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Monday, 10.03.2011 / 3:37 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Rangers get one back, close second down 5-4

ZUG, Switzerland -- Artem Anisimov's shot went off the end boards and bounced right in front of the goal where Ruslan Fedotenko banged it in with 1:12 left to cut the EV Zug lead to 5-4. That's where it stands heading into the third period.

The Rangers applied pressure in the final minute, but they couldn't get the equalizer before time expired.

Rangers coach John Tortorella shuffled his lines in the second period, putting Brandon Dubinsky with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik. He's still looking for the correct left wing to play with the two high-paid superstars.

Fedotenko, who played with Gaborik and Richards in the first period, dropped into Dubinsky's spot on the second line with Anisimov and captain Ryan Callahan.

Brian Boyle, who started the game as the fourth-line left wing, moved to center and played between Mike Rupp and Brandon Prust.

Erik Christensen, Derek Stepan and Mats Zuccarello made up the other line.

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Posted On Monday, 10.03.2011 / 3:28 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Zug scores twice in 41 seconds, leads 5-3

ZUG, Switzerland -- A pair of former NHL players just burned the Rangers.

Glen Metropolit scored off a pretty passing sequence with Corsin Casutt to give EV Zug a 4-3 lead with 5:58 to play in the second period.

Just 41 seconds later, Josh Holden scored his second of the game, off a feed from Fabian Luthi, to make it 5-3 for EV Zug.

That's where we stand now with 3:44 to play in the second period.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Monday, 10.03.2011 / 3:01 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Rangers get 'em back, tied 3-3 after first

ZUG, Switzerland -- Mike Rupp and Artem Anisimov scored goals 13 seconds apart to send the Rangers and EV Zug into the dressing rooms tied at 3-3.

Rupp scored at 18:47 off a deflection of Michael Del Zotto's point shot. Anisimov scored an unassisted goal at 19 minutes off a great individual effort.
 
Anisimov lost the puck at his feet during a center drive, but he used his strength to find it between two Zug players and get a good shot off on Zug goalie Jussi Markkanen to tie the game at 3-3.

The Rangers were flat out bad in the first 10 minutes of the game, but they picked it up. Save for a great move by former NHLer Josh Holden to undress Brad Richards and score a shorthanded goal, the final 10 minutes was all Rangers.

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Posted On Monday, 10.03.2011 / 2:43 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Teams trade goals, Rangers trail Zug 3-1

ZUG, Switzerland -- The Rangers have picked up their speed since the 10-minute mark of the first period and it paid off as Brandon Dubinsky set up Ryan Callahan with a goal from the slot off the rush at 15:40 to slice EV Zug's lead to 2-1.

Dubinsky used his speed down the left-wing boards to get room and find a streaking Callahan in front. Callahan's initial attempt was stopped by Zug goalie Jussi Markkanen, but Callahan tapped the rebound in before skating around the goal.

However, nine seconds into a power play, the Rangers coughed up the puck and former NHL player Josh Holden undressed Brad Richards before firing the puck over Martin Biron's right shoulder to give Zug a 3-1 lead with 3:36 to play in the first period.

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Posted On Monday, 10.03.2011 / 2:27 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Make that 2-0 Zug

ZUG, Switzerland -- There are goals Martin Biron never will forget, and while this only is a preseason game in Switzerland, he just gave one up that likely forever will be in his memory bank.

Biron flat-out fumbled a long shot by Duri Camichel. The puck fell to the ice and dribbled into the net 5:32 into the first period, giving EV Zug a 2-0 lead over the Rangers.

That was the kind of goal that just makes you cringe. Now Biron has to pick it up to help his team get back in the game.

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Posted On Monday, 10.03.2011 / 2:20 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Zug takes early 1-0 lead

ZUG, Switzerland -- Brandon Dubinsky got an extra penalty for roughing after a post-whistle skirmish with Timo Helbling and EV Zug made the Rangers pay. Esa Pirnes, who played for the Los Angeles Kings during the 2003-04 season, rifled a one-timer from the right circle over Martin Biron's shoulder and into the near corner just 1:18 into the game.

The Rangers now have trailed 1-0 in their last three preseason games here in Europe. They came back to win the other two.

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Posted On Monday, 10.03.2011 / 1:30 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Avery sits again vs. EV Zug

ZUG, Switzerland -- Rangers coach John Tortorella said Saturday that he wants to keep only 13 forwards and the battle for the final roster spot was between Sean Avery and Erik Christensen. With two preseason games remaining before the final cut has to be made, most everyone made the assumption that both players would skate in both games so the coach could get a good look at them.

Well, Avery didn't play Sunday in Bratislava and he's not in the lineup today in Zug.

Why? Well, I won't get the chance to ask the coach until after the game, but I can figure only two things: Either Tortorella has seen enough of Avery, who injured his lip against Frolunda on Friday, and wanted to get a real good look at Christensen without having to worry about watching another player as closely, or Avery is on his way out.

I could be way off, but that's what I'm going with right now. I'll find out more from Tortorella after the game.

Christensen is in the lineup and will start centering the fourth line, between Brian Boyle and Brandon Prust. Boyle started Sunday's game as the first-line left wing, but has dropped to the fourth line to start this game. I still think Boyle is targeted to be the Rangers' fourth-line center, but Christensen also is a center and clearly Tortorella has to get one final look at him in a game.

Martin Biron is starting in net for the Rangers with Scott Stajcer serving as his backup. Rangers goalie coach Benoit Allaire told me that dressing Henrik Lundqvist today would be meaningless, and dressing four out of five nights also is difficult for a goalie, who even as a backup still has to prepare and mentally focus as if he is going to play.

EV Zug has some recognizable names, including goalie Jussi Markkanen, who played 26 games for the Rangers in 2003-04, but is more known for his time in Edmonton. Markkanen is in his third year in Zug.

Glen Metropolit has played in 407 NHL games with seven teams, most recently the Canadiens from 2008-10. Josh Holden played a combined 60 NHL games for the Canucks, Hurricanes and Maple Leafs, and Andy Wozniewski played with the Leafs, Blues and Bruins, totaling 79 NHL games, from 2005-10.

One of the Zug beat writers told me to watch Damien Brunner, No. 96 in your program. The 25-year-old is the leading scorer in the Swiss league and many here believe he will compete for an NHL contract next season. The Wild were interested in him this season, but Brunner decided to stay in Switzerland because an injury kept him out of the World Championship, and presumably, cost him a chance at a better NHL contract.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Monday, 10.03.2011 / 8:55 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Torts eager to get to Stockholm

ZURICH, Switzerland -- By no means are the Rangers overlooking tonight's game against EV Zug, but coach John Tortorella admitted Sunday night that his team is tired and needs to get settled in to focus on the season-opener on Friday against Los Angeles.

To do that, Tortorella is looking forward to having two strong practices in Stockholm on Wednesday and Thursday. The Rangers will fly to Sweden's capital city on Tuesday and won't skate, but Wednesday has all the makings of a big-time work day for the club.

"I think we've really got to try to use (tonight's) game to be a little bit quicker in the things we do, but with respect to the players there is a lot of things that go into it," Tortorella said. "With a big rink it's just a different game, it really is. We're going to try to do the best we can to prepare. That's why I'm really looking forward to the two practice days we have. I think that's going to be an important part toward the end of this camp."

Tortorella plans to work on all facets of the Rangers' "concept" on Wednesday and Thursday, including the power play, which has been spotty in the three games here in Europe.

"It's OK. It's OK," Tortorella said of the power play. "But, again, I'm looking forward to the two practice days. We'll work on that and we'll work on a number of different things, and go from there."

Henrik Lundqvist, who won't play against EV Zug, said the travel/rest day Tuesday as well as the practices scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday will be key for him because while he's feeling better and better with each passing game, he still has some fine tuning to do.

"I have to have a good week with some hard practice to work on all the details," Lundqvist said. "It's important to get a good week in with some solid practice, and to rest up a little bit. It's been a busy schedule the last couple of days. When we get to Stockholm we're going to take a deep breath and then have Wednesday and Thursday to really work on all things to get ready."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Sunday, 10.02.2011 / 5:32 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

Some news, some other stuff

ZURICH, Switzerland -- John Tortorella had no update to give us on defenseman Marc Staal (post-concussion symptoms) based off his practice Saturday with the Connecticut Whale of the AHL.

Staal practiced with the Whale on Friday and said he would return Saturday if he did not experience headaches. He was back Saturday, but Tortorella said he hadn't yet spoken to trainer Jim Ramsey to find out how it went. He said the six-hour time difference and the fact that he was focused on getting the guys that are here prepared for a game didn't allow him to talk to Ramsey.

Odds are Tortorella spoke to Ramsey on the flight here from Bratislava, but I won't have the ability to ask Tortorella anything about that conversation until either before or after Monday's game in Zug.

What's also of note is that Tortorella wouldn't specifically rule Michael Sauer (shoulder sprain) out of Monday's game. Tortorella instead said he still has to talk to Ramsey to see how Sauer is doing, but he mentioned that the young defenseman was progressing nicely in his recovery and hinted that he would be ready to go for the season-opener Friday in Stockholm against the Kings.

"He's day to day, much better today, but we're trying to be careful there," Tortorella said. "We want him to be as healthy as possible before we open up."

Speaking about that other stuff, I just wanted to take the time to give a great deal of credit to the Rangers equipment staff led by Cas Marques. Those guys have been working harder than anyone on this trip.

Knowing they would be rushed Sunday night to get everything out of the arena and on the truck so the team could take off on time, Cas and his boys had the bags packed and ready to go before some of the players were even out of the showers. It was pretty incredible to see them at work.

They even got some help from Bill Miller of the NHL Events Department. As I was going into the dressing room to talk to the players, Miller was lugging two huge equipment bags out.

Well done Cas and his boys, and well done Bill.

Finally, Ruslan Fedotenko rode in the cockpit for our flight from Bratislava to Zurich. Fortunately, Fedotenko did not mess with any of the equipment.

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