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Rangers and Ducks look to bounce back in Sweden

by Dan Rosen

RANGERS (0-0-1) at DUCKS (0-1-0)

2011 Compuware NHL Premiere in Stockholm, Sweden


Season Series:
This is the first of two meetings between the clubs this season. The Ducks will play in New York on Nov. 3.

Big Story: Both teams are coming off losses, though the Rangers picked up a point in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Kings on Friday. The Ducks not only lost 4-1 to Buffalo, but they had to board a plane and fly from Helsinki to Stockholm after the game. They presumably will have a morning skate Saturday, but the Rangers will have a significant advantage. Not only will the Rangers have the crowd on their side due to having the only two Swedes in the game (Henrik Lundqvist and Tim Erixon), but they've skated at Ericsson Globe Arena four times while the Ducks have never been here.

Team Scope:

Rangers: Discipline, or lack thereof, was the Rangers biggest problem in their overtime loss Friday night. They managed to get to overtime despite Brian Boyle's interference penalty with 2:03 left in regulation, but Ryan McDonagh's tripping minor on Willie Mitchell midway through the overtime session did them in.

Jack Johnson scored a power-play goal with 52 seconds left in overtime to send the Rangers back to their hotel with just one point.

However, there were some positive signs, especially in the top six. Brandon Dubinsky appeared to fit in with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik, and Ruslan Fedotenko made a smooth transition from third line to second line, playing with Ryan Callahan and Artem Anisimov.

"Me and Artie have been pretty much together throughout the whole camp so it feels like we picked up where we left off," Callahan said. "It seemed like we worked well and Feds fit right in with us. His game is working down low and he's good on the cycle and he takes the body, so it's pretty easy to fit him in there."

Ducks: The only offense Anaheim got Friday night in Helsinki was from defenseman Nate Guenin, who scored his first career goal. The only assist went to Maxime Macenauer, who was making his NHL debut after one season spent in the ECHL and another in the AHL. When Hart Trophy winner Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan, Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu all get shut out, the Ducks simply don't look very good.

Anaheim will get another crack Saturday against the Rangers, and it's possible that with New York's depleted defense that doesn't include Marc Staal, the Ryan-Getzlaf-Perry line will see plenty of ice, perhaps with some double-shifting.

Ryan, Getzlaf, Perry, Selanne and Koivu combined for just nine of the Ducks' 30 shots Friday night.

Who's Hot: Callahan had a goal and a game-high 11 shots Friday night. Gaborik also scored and was second on the Rangers with five shots. Richards won nine of his 11 faceoffs.

Injury Report: Rangers defenseman Marc Staal is not here due to post-concussion symptoms. … Anaheim defenseman Toni Lydman is still recovering from shoulder surgery and on injured reserve, as is fellow defenseman Matt Smaby (hand). Forward Matt Beleskey (shoulder) and defenseman Kurtis Foster (thigh) are day-to-day.

Stat Pack: There were a lot of firsts for both these teams Friday night: Richards got his first point as a Ranger; Guenin scored his first career goal; Macenauer picked up his first NHL point; Henrik Lundqvist played his first NHL regular-season game in his home country; The same holds true for Finnish stars Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu.

Puck Drop: "It was pretty special to come out in the warmups and maybe the first half of the first period, but then you just focus on your job and block everything that doesn't have to do with my performance and what I have to do," Lundqvist said of playing Friday night in his nation's capital city. "It was still a great feeling to play this game in Stockholm, but it's a little frustrating right now to not get the two points."

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