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Preview: DeAngelo Joins the Mix As Rangers Cross the Hudson

Preseason Slate Rolls on in Newark

by Michael Obernauer

RANGERS at DEVILS, 7 p.m.
Preseason Game 2
Prudential Center
MSG Network


The Rangers and Devils are right back at it on Friday night, only with a change of venue and all-new personnel on both sides.

Micheal Haley, who scored in these teams' meeting at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday - the Rangers' preseason opener - will be the only Blueshirt to face the Devils in both preseason games so far when the Rangers play the return match in Newark on Friday. That means it's some other Rangers' turns - Pavel Buchnevich, Brett Howden, Filip Chytil, Ryan Strome, Henrik Lundqvist and the rest - to make their preseason debuts.

Tony DeAngelo won't be among them this time, but the news on Friday is that the defenseman is ready to rejoin the team after the sides came together on a contract early Friday. The 23-year-old blueliner is expected to join his teammates on Saturday but may not begin skating right away.

"It's good to have him back," David Quinn said after the Rangers completed their practices on Friday. "He's a big part of our future. He had a real strong second half last year. Listen, there's a business side to this, we all understand that, but we're anticipating him to stay for a while now and we're glad to have him back."

Any timeline on DeAngelo getting into practice and then game action remains to be determined, "but we want to get him involved as quickly as possible," Quinn said.

As for Friday's game, Lundqvist will get the start in the nets as he ramps up preparation for his 15th season as a Ranger; the plan is for him to play half the game before handing it off to Adam Huska, the newly signed backstop coming off an impressive showing in Traverse City.

Lundqvist and Huska and Co. will face a Devils team that, unlike Wednesday night at the Garden, will field a roster that includes newcomers Jack Hughes and P.K. Subban, as well as returning players Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri, among others.

After his morning skate on Friday, Lundqvist said he has come into Training Camp with a "very positive feeling. I was hoping that we were going to take couple of big steps this summer in the right direction, and we did. So for me personally, it was not hard to motivate yourself to go hard this summer, prepare yourself for the season - you got that little extra push from management, I feel like, when you look what happened over the summer. So I'm just excited to get going and start playing games.

"It's about getting your legs going, get your mind in the right place. There is only so much you can do training-wise; you need to play games to get that sharp focus that you need. You just need to be out there."

Joey Keane is one of the Rangers prospects who figures to see significant minutes on Friday night, paired up to start the game with Marc Staal, who is gearing up for his 13th season in a Blueshirt.

Defenseman Sean Day, who had offseason hip surgery, joined his teammates on the Training Center ice for the first time on Friday. Day is likely to continue skating in the red no-contact jersey for the foreseeable future.

The Rangers also trimmed their Training Camp roster by four players on Friday; with DeAngelo's return, 45 players remain in camp - 26 forwards, 15 defensemen, four goaltenders.


PROJECTED LINEUP

90 Namestnikov - 21 Howden - 89 Buchnevich
16 Strome - 72 Chytil - 17 Fast
28 Di Giuseppe - 29 Fogarty - 95 Lettieri
38 Haley - 37 Fontaine - 34 Newell

18 Staal - 82 Keane
51 Reunanen - 70 Morrow
55 Lindgren - 54 Geertsen

30 Lundqvist
32 Huska


WHADDYA SAY?

Dan Girardi, the undrafted defenseman who went on to play 11 seasons and 788 games as a Ranger - plus 122 more in the playoffs - announced his retirement on Friday; his longtime D partner Marc Staal and longtime goaltender Henrik Lundqvist reflected on their friend's career:

STAAL: "He worked extremely hard for everything he got, he earned everything he got in the game. I was happy and proud to be able to play with him for as long as I did in a Ranger uniform. That's something that we'll have for the rest of our lives. And so for me, selfishly, I just was happy I got to play with a guy like that."

LUNDQVIST: "One of my all-time favorite teammates. The way he played the game, he was a funny guy to be around, and extremely loyal to the team always. We had so much success together. … I always knew what you get from him, for so many years. I admired how he played. He was a huge part of this team success over so many years."
 

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